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May Crime statistics were released from Portland Police Bureau Tuesday, June 19th.

Statistic are released just once a month, and tabulated by neighborhood.

The statistics for Brentwood-Darlington are included above, and on the City’s website you can compare reports across time and neighborhoods.

There’s no indication about what happened where, but this heat map of crime (2000 – 2010) from Portland State University shows neighborhood hot spots in B-D. Lack of placement for incidents makes it hard to track trends— even more so in oddly-shaped neighborhoods like Powellhurst-Gilbert and Hazelwood. 

Twenty three assaults reported in a month seems shockingly high, as does eight burglaries. There were also 3 robberies, 30 larcenies, and 6 motor vehicle thefts.

There were 13 assaults, 4 burglaries, and no robberies in May of 2017. In April of this year, there were 15 assaults, 10 burglaries, and 2 robberies.

As I’ve often written, the City of Portland doesn’t do a very good job of keeping residents informed of the crime happening in their neighborhood. Some incidents are shared on social media sites like Facebook and Nextdoor, but there’s a fire hose of other distracting information and opinions there too. I also have to wonder how many people don’t use social media or have given it up.

We’re working on an app that will give neighbors an opportunity to self-report incidents. Here’s a story I wrote about the thinking that led to the decision to make the site, and a summary of feedback from B-D neighbors here.

Reporter App update 

I’ve been in discussion with my developers (they took time off for Ramadan), and while it’s a functioning site, a lot of the features still need work.

Right now neighbors can register and post incidents from the desktop site, but the mobile site posting isn’t working. The email notifications for nearby incidents needs work too, and all that is in process.

In the world of software development there’s a saying: “if you’re not embarrassed by your product when you released, you released too late”. But this is also the same people and ethic that brought us Facebook’s “move fast and break things”, that has caused a lot of chaos and may have even broken an election.

We’re dealing with important information and I want to be respectful of that… but as we can see by the statistics, plenty of bad things are going on in the neighborhood.

What are the bare essential features you think would make the app useful? Are there any privacy concerns at this point? At this point, I’m leaning towards only allowing incidents reported to the police… so there’s some sort of accountability and to avoid unsubstantiated concerns.

Thoughts? I look forward to your feedback.