New tool allows people to know when crimes happen around them

Published: Nov. 5, 2013 at 11:07 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 6, 2013 at 10:54 AM CST
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - While you are at work or asleep crimes could be happening in your neighborhood.

Biloxi Resident Linda Stewart said, "For safety reasons, I just want to know what's going on."

Now, Biloxi residents, like Stewart, can stay informed about crime activity around the clock with just a few clicks on the internet.

As calls come in to police, they are logged into the Crime Mapping website. Every six hours, the system is updated and anyone can see what crimes have been reported in the past 90 days. You can even sign up for email alerts.

"This is a work in progress," Biloxi Police Chief John Miller said. "We are not at all where we want to be just yet, but we think it's great where we are at."

Anything from DUIs to burglaries or fraud will show up. But there are some things that will not be on the site, such as sexual assaults and homicides.

"We would still, right now, prefer to release that information the standard way through the media," Miller said. "We don't want to compromise a case."

There are some cases though investigators hope you will be able to help them solve. Attached to every symbol is a link to Crime Stoppers. If anyone knows something about that crime, they can just click on it and submit an anonymous tip.

"Citizens have always, always been what helps us most solving crimes," Miller said.

The online tool also helps police use their resources better. If they see there are a number of car burglaries in a certain neighborhood, they will make sure to have more patrols there.

"Before, we have always gone by the human factor, even drawn it out on paper. There's been burglaries here and here," Miller said.

It will also help residents stay better informed.

"I think it's going to be a big hit," Stewart said. "I think this is going to be a great way to not only keep an eye on our little neighborhood, but the mile around us, which is what I selected when I signed up for Crime Mapping."

The Biloxi Police Department used a grant and drug seizure money to pay for the new tool. Gulfport Police also uses Crime Mapping. If you would like to check it out, just visit:

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