Spruce Grove residents have a new way to get information about crime in the community with the launch of an online RCMP crime map.
The crime map, which is available at www.sprucegrove.org/crimemap and is an RCMP “K” Division Crime Reduction Strategy, is an evidence-based approach to informing the community about six types of crime:
“We are pleased to be partnering with our local RCMP to provide this resource to the community,” said Spruce Grove Mayor Stuart Houston. “By hosting this map on the City’s website, we are able to share the RCMP’s crime data with residents so they can be aware of what is happening in and around their neighbourhoods.”
The map is updated daily Monday to Friday and icons are used to identify the location of a specific crime. Clicking on an icon will display the file number and date a crime was reported to the RCMP. Icons will remain on the map for 14 days before being updated to ensure current crime trends are being displayed.
“Our goal with this map is to provide the public with tools, resources and information they need to uphold public safety – for themselves and for their communities,” explains Insp. Mike Lokken, Officer in Charge for the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Enoch RCMP detachment.
It also provides residents with an accurate source of crime information, rather than relying on what people share on social media.
“Not long ago, we saw a posting on a Spruce Grove Facebook page where an individual said there had been nine vehicle thefts in one night, but we had only received a report of one vehicle theft,” says Insp. Lokken. “When we followed up with the person who posted that information, that individual had simply ‘heard it was true’.
“We’d like to remind residents that information they see or hear on social media, or in the local coffee shop, or at their child’s hockey practice is not vetted,” adds Insp. Lokken. “This map uses confirmed and sourced information to provide an accurate picture of crime in the community.”
The RCMP also hopes the map will encourage Spruce Grove residents to report suspicious activity, as that data is helpful in gathering information, identifying trends and making arrests.
“This map is really a community tool to help with crime awareness, reporting and reduction,” says Insp. Lokken. “Not only does it help dispel incorrect information that may be circulating in the rumour mill, but it also demonstrates some of the analytical work we are doing to address crime in Spruce Grove.”