Dear Durham Subscribers,
There were many crimes in Durham this past week as reported on the new crime mapping system, including 3 sexual assaults, 12 robberies, and over 15 aggravated assaults, but SpotCrime no longer has access to this data. SpotCrime, the largest crime alerting system in the US, is not permitted to tell you where it happened.
You are able to look at the information if you go to the city supported vendor crime map, but that’s it. Don’t copy the information down, don’t share the information on social media platforms like Facebook, and don’t ask your news agency to cover it because doing these things may be violating the new rules you’ve been forced to agree to with the new vendor website.
We have heard that the City of Durham is working towards open data initiatives, however, we have gotten conflicting information from the city about crime data being made available.
The most recent statement from the city states that while many data sets will be made available, the crime data will be subject to a quality assurance approval process before it is placed on the open data platform. As other cities in North Carolina like Raleigh and Asheville are opening up all their data sets, it looks like Durham will now be slowing down access to crime information.
We are certain that no city in the US has moved towards greatness by making public access less transparent, and we are confident in saying that no police department has improved by reducing open access to crime data.
Please ask your elected officials to explain these new restrictions set forth by the new vendor. Why can the press no longer have timely access? Why can’t you share crime information on social media platforms like Facebook?
Let’s help get this data open and unrestricted for everyone again. Open data is transparent data. Restricted data is perversion of public trust.
We have more updates planned for the coming weeks. Please stay tuned.
The SpotCrime Team
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