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Flawed Map Says L.A.'s Crime Highest Next to Police HQ

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the statistics-are-coming-from-inside-the-station dept.

Bug 123

CNET briefly describes how a poorly chosen default behavior has led to an online crime map of Los Angeles (on a site designed at a cost of $362,000) that shows that "a location just a block from the department's new headquarters is the most crime-ridden place in the city." I wonder how often this sort of error would completely skew things like real-estate maps that attempt to show whether houses in a certain neighborhood are worth more than those in the one next door.

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123 comments

Quick! (4, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | about 5 years ago | (#27468521)

Get those properties while they're cheap! Well, cheaper than they already were, considering the economy.

Re:Quick! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27468651)

Hi, I'm a self-righteous, Steve Jobs-humping macintrash user. I think macs are the greatest thing in the world, and I love them more than my family. Get a mac! That way you can be cool and hip (and broke) too! And I posted anonymously so you couldn't tell who I am! Ta-ta!

-jcr

Re:Quick! (3, Funny)

samriel (1456543) | about 5 years ago | (#27469069)

And I posted anonymously so you couldn't tell who I am! Ta-ta!

-jcr

That's some mighty fine detective work there, Lou.

Re:Quick! (2, Funny)

Divebus (860563) | about 5 years ago | (#27470391)

Are L.A. cops THAT crooked?

Re:Quick! (4, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | about 5 years ago | (#27472499)

Is that a rhetorical question? Can't speak for L.A., but my car suffered an attempted break-in via the windshield of all places while Sacramento cops sat in the parking lot of a La Quinta motel. I was traveling from Washington to Georgia, and got nothing more than a shrug and a "that sucks" from the police when I noticed the prised up seal on my windshield the next morning.

Perhaps criminals are getting more brazen (5, Insightful)

superyanthrax (835242) | about 5 years ago | (#27468561)

More seriously, they should probably have had the program throw an error in case they could not find a certain location rather than putting the crime report at an arbitrary location. That would have caused the problem to be discovered earlier.

Re:Perhaps criminals are getting more brazen (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 years ago | (#27469005)

More seriously, they should probably have had the program throw an error in case they could not find a certain location rather than putting the crime report at an arbitrary location. That would have caused the problem to be discovered earlier.

There's pros and cons... What if you know the police district and want to give corrent district values, even there's no specific address? If not providing an address makes the crime "go away", there could be a tendency to have more "unlocalized" crime. Probably it was a case of conflicting requirements that said all crime was to represented and all crime had a location that nobody really thought through.

I think your suggestion is unrealistic because sometimes there's no one good address. If you caught a speeder that you chased for three city blocks, was it the address you first observed the crime? Where he rammed that car in the chase? Where the chase ended? What if that's an intersection with no real address? Closest address? GPS coordinates? It's not relevant to the case what building was closests, and it'd be a waste of time coming up with rules just because everything must have an address. Still it would be relevant to know the general area for other statistics.

Re:Perhaps criminals are getting more brazen (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about 5 years ago | (#27469063)

There's ways to balance that, depending on what your needs and visualization methods are. For example, if you know that a significant proportion of your crime reporting gives only district-level precision, not pinpointing to specific addresses, then it'd be more honest data presentation to just produce a colored-in map on a district-by-district level, and not attempt to give more detailed maps. If you do still want to give the more detailed maps, then at least average the un-localized things across the district instead of putting them all in one place.

To use an actual (fairly simple) example that came up in my work recently: say you have some date figures, most of them with years but some only with decades. The wrong thing to do is to put the "1960s" datapoint at 1965, because then you get spurious spikes in the middle of every decade. Several more correct options are: just produce decade-by-decade visualizations, or else produce year-by-year visualizations, but assign a "1960s" datapoint as a 1/10-weight datapoint in each of 1960 through 1969.

Re:Perhaps criminals are getting more brazen (1)

Nevyn (5505) | about 5 years ago | (#27471293)

Several more correct options are: just produce decade-by-decade visualizations, or else produce year-by-year visualizations, but assign a "1960s" datapoint as a 1/10-weight datapoint in each of 1960 through 1969.

Maybe more correct. Averaging sucks x3, what about if 1966 had 2x as many events as the other years ... what about if it only had those extra events for a reason (and so all events of that type were recorded with the year and not just the decade). I think really you have to either merge all the data to the same level (only give decade numbers), or distinguish the data in some way (so 11 data points when displaying data from 1960-1969 and "1960s").

Re:Perhaps criminals are getting more brazen (2, Funny)

Tuoqui (1091447) | about 5 years ago | (#27471567)

I'd like to think that it's more cops getting busted for their own abuses but I'm not that naive.

Re:Perhaps criminals are getting more brazen (3, Informative)

belg4mit (152620) | about 5 years ago | (#27472745)

Choropleths are dangerous because most amateurs don't plot density.
The eye naturally integrates over an area of uniform color, and so
you must not create maps of raw magnitude if the mapped regions
vary (significantly) in size. Otherwise, a small area of high-crime
will appear less significant than a large area of moderate crime.

Re:Perhaps criminals are getting more brazen (4, Interesting)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 5 years ago | (#27469397)

It is actually plausible that crime is higher by a PD. Consider that police operate effectively largely on the basis of force projection. Projecting force means they've got to spread out and, in part, create a perimeter within which they operate. The PD may have relied upon the force projection (ie the psychological influence the building would have) of the building, in part.

Also consider that a PD is more of a hub; police officers are coming and going to their respective patrol areas, going and coming off of shift. They are most likely not thinking "work" - ie, find criminals - at this time.

The PD may have been strategically placed where it was to dissuade crime in that specific area. I know that in the two largest cities in my state, the PDs are at, or near, the epicenter of low-income and crime (they're also just off the city centers). I lived near one of these PDs once, and it was indeed a higher crime area.

Re:Perhaps criminals are getting more brazen (0)

Miseph (979059) | about 5 years ago | (#27471219)

Also, PDs tend to be located in commercial areas, surrounded by businesses and offices rather than homes. This means that on any given day there is far more money concentrated in those areas than residential ones, and where there's money, there's crime.

Re:Perhaps criminals are getting more brazen (2, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 5 years ago | (#27471803)

My parents used to cruise and street race in Southern California, and the preferred place to do it was about a block from the police station. The reason was simple: aside from shift changes (times for which were well known), there were no cops there. They were deployed far enough away that the racers only rarely saw a patrol car in the area, let alone on the racing street itself.

Re:Perhaps criminals are getting more brazen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27473581)

Maybe the map was a block off and meant to show the highest crime AT the PD.

Re:Perhaps criminals are getting more brazen (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 5 years ago | (#27469453)

Surely it's a crime to not code the crimes properly and in a manner the geocoder can handle it.

Party most responsible for this 'crime' is the PD itself!

In that light, every crime report that can't be geocoded would represent a crime committed in its own right!

They could have also used the locations of the offices of the software developers (if they don't work at the HQ)

So there is a crime of deceiving the public, and every improperly coded report is a separate criminal act...

Flawed? (4, Funny)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about 5 years ago | (#27468575)

Seeing how rogue so many police officers are, it might not necessarily be quite off the mark.

Re:Flawed? (4, Funny)

pjt33 (739471) | about 5 years ago | (#27468621)

What do you mean, "not quite off the mark"? It's a whole block out!

Re:Flawed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27468807)

No its not. Not only are the police criminals, they have a lousy sense of direction and cant figure out GPS devices.

Criminal activity detection... (5, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | about 5 years ago | (#27468611)

It's not a legally recorded crime unless someone is caught and convicted. It's not surprising that these crime maps would show this result - the places that police officers are most likely to be, are the places where the most crime is "found".

This is akin to saying that the places where the most vehicular crime occurs are where speed traps and automated traffic cameras are located.

If you had a world with absolute and omnipresent law enforcement, and that society could somehow actually function, my guess is that the map would match a map of the average human traffic in a given location.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Criminal activity detection... (2, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#27468821)

It's not surprising that these crime maps would show this result - the places that police officers are most likely to be, are the places where the most crime is "found".

Are you implying police officers commit the most crimes?

No joke, there are places [wikipedia.org] where this is believable.

Re:Criminal activity detection... (2, Informative)

samriel (1456543) | about 5 years ago | (#27469081)

It's not surprising that these crime maps would show this result - the places that police officers are most likely to be, are the places where the most crime is "found".

Are you implying police officers commit the most crimes?

No joke, there are places [wikipedia.org] where this is believable.

That's not what he's saying. He's saying that, in places without cops, no crime gets reported. No cops = no arrests, ergo no crime information about the area.

He said no such thing. Police commit most crimes. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27469431)

Do you think just because someone accused or caught with an incomplete element would make them treated with kindness by a prejudice police? It is my witness that police commit more crimes than whom they assert their unlawful arrests upon. There are people caught up in such a cloud of perception that police are called, and what would be a mistaken damage of property or misplaced trust turns into an accusation by those police officers. It gets even worse, you're taken to a strange place to be held against your living will, antagonized on your mental state, forced to surrender your property, and forced into the right of a phone call with some foreign well-fed attorney to defend you on things he has no right or cause to uphold because his allegiance is to the Court and it's Majesty before any help can come to you. Think you can survive 2.5 days in Psyche-ward with no sunlight so you can be coralled through a cement corridor to a cage and have any discussion of evidence before saying your mental state of "guilty" or "not guilty" or "not my name"?

While all this happens, the shepherds moving you around enjoy all kinds of circumstantial immunity only when it suits their purpose to "help" you clear your name after hundreds upon hundreds if not thousands of dollars or pesos that you spent over 3 months trying to save. Police are satanic by their nature, and there is nothing any of you Slashdotters can convince me otherwise. They'll be the first to jump-ship from these nations and united States when they question the ability to continue their pay check. They got to tee-off somwhere with a LLC doctor and insurance salesman. Don't ask him for anything because he's just doing his job.

They can all eat shit for forcing me to sit naked in a cell for all those hours just because I wouldn't allow anyone to sign paper on my behalf and without disclosure to those contracts. They are not America, those are the United mental States of America; not here to help, just give the illusion that they are your friends so they can get that job bonus on the ticket collections and alleged "warrant" collections. You know they're buying the latest and greatest computer hardware with the spare money they collect on forcing someone else into the poorhouse. It's an American dream, because obviously you got to be dreaming to think it is of any help.

Re:Criminal activity detection... (1)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#27468841)

What? You are implying that crime is geographically average, which is a pretty big assumption. There are whole classes of crime that are geographically concentrated, and all sorts of crimes that are residential instead of commercial, and so forth.

Re:Criminal activity detection... (1)

timothy (36799) | about 5 years ago | (#27468853)

"It's not a legally recorded crime unless someone is caught and convicted."

On what do you base this? Maybe I'm just misinterpreting, but I don't see how that makes any sense at all. Never heard of the category "legally recorded crime" -- is this a term of art?

I was mugged; I reported the crime. (No fun at all, but at least they didn't shoot me.)

Or you get hurt by a hit-and-run driver, and you report it. Odds are low that the driver will be caught.

Or someone you know is murdered, and the killer is unknown. Not sure of the current closing stats on murders, but surely a lot of murderers are never caught, never mind convicted. They're still crimes, and if I was planning where to live (hint: not North Philly -- once was enough), I'd want to know about them.

timothy

Re:Criminal activity detection... (2)

megaditto (982598) | about 5 years ago | (#27469169)

I was mugged; I reported the crime. (No fun at all, but at least they didn't shoot me.)

Who "they," the muggers or the cops?

RTFA (1)

Virak (897071) | about 5 years ago | (#27469071)

Your theory is interesting and all, but (and I know this may be a shocking concept for a Slashdot user) the actual article says what actually happened, and it's not at all like that.

In the past six months, that location experienced 1,380 crimes--4 percent of all crimes mapped--or roughly eight a day.

The crimes were real, but a coding error with the system's geocoding--the process of converting addresses into map points--caused the crimes to be represented at a default location, according to a report Sunday in the Los Angeles Times.

Re:Criminal activity detection... (1)

westlake (615356) | about 5 years ago | (#27469211)

my guess is that the map would match a map of the average human traffic in a given location.

Crimes have their own geography.

Every large city has streets known for prostitution and drugs. Districts where abandoned homes and industrial sites attract arsonists and scavengers. The college campusus, parks and trails which become the stalking grounds for a rapist.

Re:Criminal activity detection... (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 5 years ago | (#27469413)

I wonder if there's a doughnut/coffee shop or cafe around the corner from the PD that would attribute to this statistical anomaly.

Re:Criminal activity detection... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 5 years ago | (#27469815)

"caught and convicted" or "reported"?

The latter would make more sense, as some crimes go unsolved. But they're still crimes.
The former would make the police/prosecutor's stats look good. 100% conviction rate of all crimes.

Now, a map of crimes resulting in apprehension and conviction overlaid on the reported crimes would really be interesting. Along with a map of contributors to the police 'widows and orphans' funds.

crimereports.com? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27468635)

Hmm, wonder if http://crimereports.com has similar problems? There does seem to be a bit of clustering in some areas, and no reports at all in others, at least in the case of LA

OT - thanks for SimCity tag! (4, Interesting)

TJamieson (218336) | about 5 years ago | (#27468711)

For those who never played SimCity 4, it has a very strange bug where you would be notified about a "crime den" (implies high crime). However, when you went to the area being described, it was 99% of the time directly next to your police station.

Fortunately, it only lasted as a blip -- no increased crime, but still rather goofy.

Re:OT - thanks for SimCity tag! (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | about 5 years ago | (#27468911)

I've gotten this with almost every city I've ever built in that game... I would have a poorly-covered area that would be crime-ridden. Then I'd slap down a police station right next to this "crime den", and 50 years later I'm still getting hassled about how dangerous the area is. Oops?

Re:OT - thanks for SimCity tag! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27468967)

Or the mysterious corner of the airport...

  Of course, it's common knowledge that every murderer, rapist, tagger, and druggie goes to the corner of the local airport to commit their crimes.

Re:OT - thanks for SimCity tag! (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 years ago | (#27469041)

Or the mysterious corner of the airport...

    Of course, it's common knowledge that every murderer, rapist, tagger, and druggie goes to the corner of the local airport to commit their crimes.

Clearly it's the corner of the Executive Lounge. You just think it lacks realism.

Re:OT - thanks for SimCity tag! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27470229)

The airport bug is caused by the size of the lot. A lot's crime output increases for each tile it takes up. So even with a low crime output in the settings for an airport, because it is so large it will inevitably become a crime den.

Re:OT - thanks for SimCity tag! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27469487)

Republican senators in the men's room?

Re:OT - thanks for SimCity tag! (1)

Tink2000 (524407) | about 5 years ago | (#27469629)

Came in to add that everyone knows you have to build in 3x3 squares, and the PD always goes in the Ann B. Davis spot.

As an offtopic to the offtopic, does anyone know which map in the SNES version of SimCity has the least amount of water?

Re:OT - thanks for SimCity tag! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27472127)

#061

Re:OT - thanks for SimCity tag! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27469769)

Oh, no. Los Angeles actually IS Sim City.

Wrong picking (3, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | about 5 years ago | (#27468745)

All know that the highest crime locations always are in legislative government institutions, not in police stations (police choose to do their crimes far from there).

Wonder if US highest crime is geolocated in Washington.

too many fags (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27468801)

fuck linux and fuck the faggot bitches who use it.

Statistics, statistics... (4, Interesting)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 5 years ago | (#27468857)

I know maps like these are a problem in the UK for a different, systematic reason: Crimes detected at the police station after an arrest have their location marked as having taken place at that police station. eg if someone is arrested and taken back to the station, and when asked to empty their pockets drugs are discovered, then the location of that crime is in the police station building. Of course, this sort of thing will happen every day...

Makes the crime map a bit interesting...

Re:Statistics, statistics... (1)

owlnation (858981) | about 5 years ago | (#27469047)

It could also simply be that there is genuinely more crime next to Police Stations.

Petty criminals will be picked up kept in the cells for the night and let out in the morning -- then they go and commit a local crime. "Crime" doesn't necessarily mean serious crime like murder or rape.

Seem like a no brainer... (4, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | about 5 years ago | (#27468859)

Would you build a new police station in a crime-infested neighborhood or in a rich neighborhood that would complain about the criminals that police bring in?

Napa auto parts has the same bug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27468873)

I was trying to find my local store, typed in my zip, it gave me a map.

Unfortunately, it couldn't find the street, and defaulted to the geographic center of the zip code. I figured that out after driving through the 'hood with my kinds in the minivan for 30 minutes.

it makes me think less of the Napa for hiring the cheapest web devs!!!!

Do you live in LA? (3, Informative)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | about 5 years ago | (#27468883)

That's not a mistake. In LA, most of the HQ's *are* in high crime areas.

Downtown, Van Nuys, etc...

Re:Do you live in LA? (1)

corsec67 (627446) | about 5 years ago | (#27469691)

Well, you would want to put a police department in the middle of a crime-ridden area, right?

Re:Do you live in LA? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | about 5 years ago | (#27472051)

I misread your comment as "most of the HQs *are* high crime areas". Maybe crimes are actually committed inside the HQ?

Rape (1)

Chasmyr (1261462) | about 5 years ago | (#27468929)

The definition for rape on the listing seems a bit exclusive... "Rape: The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.". I understand the opposite sex may not have the same problem, but is that really a good reason to exclude them from the very definition of rape?

Re:Rape (3, Funny)

claysdna (1519881) | about 5 years ago | (#27468987)

Men cannot be raped and blacks cannot be racists. It is written into the democratic partys national charter, accepted by all major news outlets, and become generally accepted politically correct behavior.

Re:Rape (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27469349)

Wow. Not even a single +1 Funny moderation to this guy? It's clearly a joke.

Re:Rape (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27469461)

+1 Funny is for good jokes, not just any attempt at humor will do.

Re:Rape (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27469711)

Yeah... men can't get raped. Not by men, not by women. Fact is, men always want any sex that comes their way. Duh!

There you have it (1)

AlgorithMan (937244) | about 5 years ago | (#27468995)

There you have it - cops are the worst criminals... we told you for years but you didn't want to believe us... where's my tinfoil hat?

sensible (0, Redundant)

aneamic (1116327) | about 5 years ago | (#27469065)

It makes a lot of sense to locate your police headquarters in high crime areas. The close proximity will lower response times, and the constant traffic of police through the area will discourage crimes of opportunity.

Re:sensible (1)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#27469617)

Sure, but you also sort of hope that locating the police station there has some impact on the crime rates.

(neither of our comments are particularly relevant here, the story is about a data entry problem, not about concentrated crime)

Er... (3, Insightful)

mutube (981006) | about 5 years ago | (#27469087)

Isn't it a good thing that the police station is close to an area of high crime? Would we rather they were really far away?

It's the LAPD! (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 5 years ago | (#27469089)

Why is it surprising that the most crime in the city occurred in their headquarters? The only confusing thing is why they actually REPORTED it!?! ;)

Rollin's down the street in my 64 (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 5 years ago | (#27469097)

Oddly enough, I was just looking at property in Compton. I think it'd be interesting to live there but then again $350,000+ for a place with bars on all the windows doesn't exactly seem appealing.

Re:Rollin's down the street in my 64 (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#27469527)

You're not supposed to live there, you're supposed to live on the nice side of town (you know, in some other city.) Only slumlords and those in a cycle of oppression want to own homes there.

What's the problem? (1)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | about 5 years ago | (#27469159)

It's hard to imagine a software glitch causing this exact behavior. And what's the problem with having Po-po HQ in a high crime area? Saves on commuting, at the very least.

AT least two police stations in my city are right in the heart of crime areas. But the rest are in less crimey areas. What's the problem?

Re:What's the problem? (2, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | about 5 years ago | (#27469467)

It's hard to imagine a software glitch causing this exact behavior.

Ever enter an address into an on-line mapping program that it didn't recognize? They'll often show a map at a default location at the center of the zip code you entered. Same idea here.

Geoprocessing errors are common (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27469201)

I'm an ArcGIS user who spends time coding geographically referenced data. On occasion, I process traffic crash locations. I don't work work for LA, and have no special knowledge of their process. But from my experience...

It is quite common to only get a 90 to 95 percent match to a location with a fully automated system. Spelling errors, wrong street prefixes (N instead of S), wrong zip codes, wrong cities, etc. are all things that will cause a bad location.

For the 5 to 10 percent that fall out, we have a routine that recodes based on a) county, then b) city, then c) street.

For the last 1 percent, the locations are physically located by hand.

As you might imagine, each step in the process takes effort and human touches to code correctly. If you don't have the time or the staff, a default location may be superior to 'location unknown'.

Re:Geoprocessing errors are common (1)

Sanglant (538731) | about 5 years ago | (#27470793)

With the cluster being on city hall looks like either the geocoder was misconfigured or the dataset was light a few columns for a run or two. With a cascading geocoder, and City/State as the only good data, it'd drop them all on city hall. They've the cities own addressing layer and E911 data to use for incident points so I'd be doubtful about it being a garbage in/out issue. You think they would've passed it through a filter first to just return street_address and address_point results though if they're aiming for household level detail.

"crime-ridden"? (0)

SoopahCell (1386029) | about 5 years ago | (#27469227)

It's crime-riddled isn't it? Ridding of something removes it, so wouldn't crime-ridden be free of crime?

Re:"crime-ridden"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27469323)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ridden

$362,000 (4, Insightful)

ortholattice (175065) | about 5 years ago | (#27469303)

Is this a reasonable price for what seems to be an interface between google maps and the dept's crime database? Somehow it seems to me that a motivated person could do the basic design and coding in a few days. Then add in user feedback, layout redesigns ,etc., but still, should it really take even a couple of months for one person? As a crude guestimate, I would probably feel a little greedy or overly conservative bidding 6 months, of course I don't know the spec or what's really involved. What am I missing that seems to imply two person-years or more of work?

Re:$362,000 (2, Informative)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | about 5 years ago | (#27469621)

It has to meet strict security guidelines and undergo expensive independent security audits before it's approved for use?

Re:$362,000 (1)

tajmahall (997415) | about 5 years ago | (#27471645)

On top of this, it doesn't seem to be all that well done. When I use the map it's inconsistent about loading all data points when there are a lot of them. Put it on a 5 mile radius and search 7 days, then drag the map around a bit. A few more crimes usually appear.

Re:$362,000 (1)

belg4mit (152620) | about 5 years ago | (#27472683)

Isn't that a feature of google maps? I seem to recall this behavior on
other 3rd party overlays, and even occasionally in google maps itself.

No Doubt (2, Informative)

Joebert (946227) | about 5 years ago | (#27469471)

I'd have no reason to doubt it. When I lived in Shalimar Florida someone robbed the bank that's right across the street from the police department with a shotgun and weren't caught for as long as I lived there.

Re:No Doubt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27469783)

I'd have no reason to doubt it. When I lived in Shalimar Flori-duh someone robbed the bank that's right across the street from the police department with a shotgun and weren't caught for as long as I lived there.

There, fixed that for you.

Re:No Doubt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27471899)

...someone robbed the bank that's right across the street from the police department with a shotgun and weren't caught for as long as I lived there.

So they got you crossing state lines, huh? Sucks! ;)

Deep in the enemy's rear area? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 years ago | (#27469733)

They took a lesson from the French.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Dien_Bien_Phu [wikipedia.org]
"This would effectively cut off Viet Minh soldiers fighting in Laos and force them to withdraw. "It was an attempt to interdict the
enemy's rear area, to stop the flow of supplies and reinforcements, to establish a redoubt in the enemy's rear and disrupt his lines""
Note to US planners, read some history.

Re:Deep in the enemy's rear area? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 years ago | (#27470683)

he's got a terrible lion up his end, so there's an advantage to an enema at once...Edmund Blackadder

What's Flawed about That Location? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27469751)

Last time I parked downtown in the evening to go eat, about two blocks from the Police Headquarters, my car got burglarized. I'm guessing the map is spot on.

Western Queens NY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27469923)

Western Queens show a high number of criminals, but when you eliminate nearby rikers island's prison,
it has less than average number of criminals. Many prisoners use rikers island as their mailing address.

Wise words from a person you should not know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27469933)

My Mother always said "The darkest place near a lighthouse is right under the lighthouse."
This is a translation so it doesn't flow as well as the original.

Baltimore (3, Interesting)

N3Bruce (154308) | about 5 years ago | (#27469947)

Here in the Land of Pleasant Living (and also the setting for Homicide and The Wire), Baltimore's main Police HQ is set between President, Fayette, Gay, and Baltimore Streets. For those of you who aren't familiar with the area, the corner of Gay and Baltimore Street is one end of the city's infamous and long standing red light district, and Police HQ backs up to the heart of "The Block". One side of Baltimore Street are strip clubs and streetwalkers, along with the ever-present junkies, pickpockets, and pimps. The other side is the back of Police HQ, and parking is reserved for squad cars of Baltimore's Finest bringing in Baltimore's Worst at all hours of the day and night.

RE: This is no Error! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27470745)

An old saying says "if you want to commit a crime, do it on the steps of the Police Station ... no on will see you."

So switch to OS software so you can fix it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27471187)

They say they're doing the best they can with the software which they have. Maybe they should switch to open source so they can fix their problems. Like GeoServer [geoserver.org] ?

Grand Theft Auto? (1)

neorush (1103917) | about 5 years ago | (#27472125)

Grand Theft Auto is not a crime. Its just grand larceny where the object stolen was a car. "Car/Auto Theft" would be accurate. Its just sad to see a $362K project not be able to even get that correct. I wish that term would stop being repeated as an actual crime. Thanks big media its just a video game.

Vancouver (1)

seyyah (986027) | about 5 years ago | (#27472435)

This story might not be as surprising as it first seems.

Anyone who has been to Vancouver can tell you that by far the most crime-ridden part of the city - we are talking Main St. & Hastings - surrounds the police station and has done so for time immemorial.
 
Admittedly Main & Hastings is not the most dangerous area since the crime we are talking about is mainly drugs and prostitution. And I believe they have recently moved the central offices of the station to a new location (near Broadway?).

Off by a block (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27472529)

Apparently

Traffic accidents... (2, Insightful)

skathe (1504519) | about 5 years ago | (#27472533)

Aren't the vast majority of traffic accidents that people get into very near their home?

Basically, police are around the police station more than they're far away from it. They start their shift there and end their shift there. It's the hub of activity for police. So of course the high crime areas are going to appear as if they're near the police station. "Low hanging fruit" is the term for this I think. Why drive miles away from "home base" to make arrests when there's stuff going on right in your front/back yard?

One of my very good friend's dad is a police officer. Now chief of police of a small town, but when he was younger he worked in Chicago. There was a public housing project there called Cabrini Green. It was so violent, crime-riddled, and gang-controlled that very few, if any, police officers dared enter. Obviously, on a crime tracking system like this, it would appear as if this was one of the most crime-free places in the city, because so few arrests were made there, when in actuality the crimes there were at a higher frequency and more brutal.

It's the donuts.... (1)

crhylove (205956) | about 5 years ago | (#27472639)

Fat ass cops can't make it much farther than a block, so of course most of the (known) crime is less than a block away!!

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