The Springfield Police Department announced Monday the start of an on-line reporting system that allows people to find out where and when crimes are occurring.
Crimereports.com maps crimes in Springfield showing the block where a crime happened, what type and the time of day it occurred. For instance, if I look up the area near New England Public Radio’s studios, I see there was one assault, one incident of shoplifting, a theft of a vehicle and a car break in (theft from a vehicle) within the past ten days.
The system also allows people to give the police information and if they want, anonymously.
“One of the biggest problems that police departments have is citizens that don’t call the police or don’t want to get involved,” said Police Commissioner John Barbieri. “It allows them the ability to text us a tip or tweet out something or Facebook us immediately. We need the public’s eyes and ears. The more they help us the more we can help them.”
The website also tells what type of crime is most common and whether crime is going up or down overtime.
Besides Springfield, Westfield and Worcester also have data on crimereports.com or plan to.
The on-line system is part of a $500,000 technology upgrade that will give Springfield Police more information about crimes as they are occurring.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed Holyoke as using — or planning to use — the crimereports.com platform.