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Exclusive: Not All Crimes On Greensboro's CrimeMapping.com

12:03 AM, Nov 8, 2013   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Back in May, Greensboro police debuted CrimeMapping.com - saying it would be a better way of getting crime information than asking your neighbors or going to the courthouse to pull the public records. 

You put an address in the search bar. Then it's supposed to pinpoint all the crimes near that block. But our team found one in 8 incidents aren't on the website. 

Everything from hit and runs to stalking are not on the map.

To start showing the missing crimes, 2 Wants To Know picked the Lindley Park Neighborhood because it's in the middle of the city and matches the typical household income. 

We looked through police reports from April through September. There were 56 incidents within a four-block radius in the southern part. But seven of those crimes were not mapped on CrimeMapping.com.

For example - go from the swing set on a short walk, about three blocks away - there should be an icon for stalking on this street, along with six hit and run accidents in an area where a lot of people walk and let their kids ride bikes. But none of those incidents uncovered by 2 Wants To Know are on the map.

"That's just misinforming the public. Misinforming the community," Lindley Park dad Michael Pelham said.

By state law, police are not allowed to release any information which could identify victims who are under the age of 16 or victims of a sex crime. 

That includes the stalking case. 

But those six hit and runs? Greensboro police say traffic crimes are not on the map. Typically, they're not included in any kind of required report -- so they don't put it on the Web map either.

The head of the Crime Analysis Department is Lee Hunt. He manages Greensboro's part of the site.

"There's very few crimes that are left off the map," Hunt said.

He adds the crimes left off are usually domestic and don't affect the neighborhood as a whole.

"We're not removing or reducing the number of crimes to a way or point where the public is at all at increased risk," Hunt said.

Other places do their maps differently. Cincinnati is about the same size as Greensboro.

But Cincinnati's system lists traffic accidents and all juvenile and sex crimes - that city just puts the crimes on the map by the hundred block instead of a specific address. 2 Wants To Know showed that to Greensboro police, but the department feels people looking at that map could still figure out who the victims are.

"There is usually 6, 7, 10 houses on a street. And to that regard, neighbors and individuals, it's very easy to narrow down the potential house it may have occurred at," Hunt said.

So instead, Greensboro will keep taking some crimes off the site completely.

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