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An interactive map showing crime in Malibu is just a LexisNexis subscription away.
If there’s a sector of government that collects and synthesizes data, it’s law enforcement. Whether following similar incidents within a particular neighborhood to try to apprehend a perpetrator or taking a wider view of a particular crime to warn their residents how not to become victims, police agencies have a world of information at their disposal.
The Malibu Public Safety Commission says the public should have greater access to that information.
At 5 p.m. April 7, the commission will decide whether to move forward with a subscription to the information company LexisNexis to provide for Malibu a Community Crime Map, based on incidents that come through the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which provides contract law enforcement services here, and other agencies.
“This information is stored in large, secure databases within each law enforcement agency. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department uses LexisNexis to store this data and to share the data between departments,” according to a staff report. “This system includes a Community Crime Map feature, which takes the data, cleans it to protect victim privacy, and displays it on a map for the public so they can be aware of events that occur in their area and make more informed decisions about how to stay safe.”
The types of crimes that can be shown include homicide, robbery, assault, burglary, fraud, shoplifting, vehicle theft, vehicle burglary, arson, DUI, traffic incidents, vandalism and weapons violation.
According to LexisNexis users can see incidents in variety of ways:
Map: Crime type, street-level address, location type and date and time are displayed for the public.
Data grid: Turn on and off columns and sort data based on any variable. Data in the grid automatically updates based on the incidents displayed on the map.
Analytics: “Meaningful, visually stunning graphs help users visualize crime trends in their area.”
Metadata: This includes source of data, accuracy of points on the map and other useful information intended to “help improve transparency and trust between law enforcement and the public.”
Other key features of the Community Crime Map include automatic alerts about recent crime activity and a mechanism for submitting anonymous tips.
A LexisNexis subscription can run as low as $100 per month. However, the cost of the subscription plan being considered by the city was not provided in the staff report.
Because of the pandemic, next week’s meeting will be conducted online at malibucity.org/virtualmeeting.