Crowdsourcing Crime

-website to track, map criminal activities now active

Guyana Crime Reports (GCR), a website that track crimes, has rapidly developed a fan base on social networks, with 1000 followers on Facebook nearly a month after it commenced operations.

“The site is quickly becoming popular and people are following it and even reporting crimes,” said Vijay Datadin, found-er of GCR in an interview with Stabroek News.

The website, which can be accessed at http:// crime.guyana.gy, was built by RedSpider, whose major clients include government ministries and private companies. GCR will track, map and inform civilians and the government about crimes. Reports of crime across the country is merged into a database and mapped for easy viewing. The site tracks and maps fatal crimes, gun crimes, kidnapping, rapes, domestic violence, crime against children, corruption and narcotics.

Vijay Datadin
Vijay Datadin

Information is crowd-sourced meaning that incidences of crime are gathered via an online reporting tool from citizens while data is also gathered from reports published in the local and international media. Datadin stated that the crime reports gathered on his website provides a clear picture of crime patterns in Guyana through the rallying of data by location and time of occurrence.

A screenshot of the Guyana Crime Reports website showing the mapping of the incidence of crimes in/ related to Guyana.
A screenshot of the Guyana Crime Reports website showing the mapping of the incidence of crimes in/ related to Guyana.

The website pulls together two major technologies-the building of a database and mapping information, he said. “The information is not just a long list of data…or we just don’t put it into a database but also into a map,” he said, emphasising that this method would result in a better analysis of crime data.

Datadin said that people can report crime on the website, on Facebook, Twitter or by email. He also indicated that GCR was seeking the support of the Home Affairs Ministry and other governmental bodies to push crime awareness and reduce the scourge. “We are looking for help from the ministry and everyone,” he said.

The man stated that civilians, government and the private sector has free access to the maps and data presented on the site. He said that he would happy if other persons could analyze the crime reports on the site in order to warn and keep people informed about crime in Guyana.

Datadin said that he started the website after hearing a plea from the Guyana Police Force asking the private sector to get involved in fighting crime. “So I responded to that call and I started Guyana Crime because I had that experience and knowledge about mapping and database,” he said. Datadin is a specialist in Geographic Information System (GIS).

He added that he had seen similar websites developed in other countries and watched it serve a useful purpose in those countries. “This is what I do and I’m good at it,” he said, urging people to visit his site and report every incidence of crime.

Datadin was previously been involved in MapLAC, a website that provided geographic data about displaced persons or downed infrastructure during disasters.

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