Jeff Baron Suggests Police Utilize Crime Mapping

August 13, 2012

The OBA’s Jeff Baron has suggested that the Bermuda Police Service should implement and publicize street-level ‘crime maps’ showing all crimes reported and their outcomes. Mr Baron, a former police officer, is the OBA Spokesperson on National Security and their candidate for Pembroke South East.

Mr Baron said: “It is tempting to engage in another semantic tangle with the Government over Police statistics. It happens every quarter when Police release crime data.

“Tuesday’s official release of the second quarter crime statistics presents a mixed picture that cannot be used to show there is a long term change in crime in either direction.

“Crime was down 10.7% in April, May, June, this year compared to the first three months of 2012. But that 10.7% reduction still meant that 1,038 crimes were committed in that time – a figure that includes burglaries, assaults, firearms offences, sexual assault and, as we all know, a daytime murder in a popular barbershop.

“It is the totality of crime today and the extreme violence that Bermudians find intolerable. Crimes against the person – from sexual assaults and serious assaults to robberies – were down 8.6%, but that still meant 170 people in our community were attacked from May to the end of June.

“But instead of engaging in a claim, counter-claim battle over the latest statistics, I propose we look at a much broader approach to the use of Police information that can activate the relationship between crimes reported and the public,” continued Mr Baron.

“We want all residents in Bermuda to have accurate and clear crime data that is easy to access and understand. To achieve that, the Bermuda Police Service should implement and publicize street-level ‘crime maps’ showing all crimes reported and their outcomes. These crime maps should be updated each month instead of each quarter.

“It is in Bermuda’s interest that we monitor crime in a way that is clear, meaningful and in which people can have confidence. That is why it is time for us to move forward with crime mapping and improve the way in which crimes are tracked and shared with the public.

“Crime mapping has been used successfully by the Home Office in the UK since its initial launch in January, 2011. According to the Home Office, the crime-mapping website ( was developed to provide the public with access to key crime and policing information in a way that allows them to raise issues or take an active role in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.

“For example, the website allows people to type in a postal code to find out what crime or antisocial behaviour has been committed in that neighbourhood. It also shows how a crime has been dealt with by the police or the courts. Six months after its launch, the website had 420 million hits, showing – and feeding – a huge appetite for information on crime and what happens to a perpetrator.

“Crime mapping empowers the public to seek answers to the questions which matter to them most: Will the police stop the drug dealing happening on the wall at the end of my street?

“What happened after a number of burglaries in my neighbourhood? What’s being done to reduce the presence of gang activity in my neighbourhood? This level of public scrutiny and accountability can act as a strong impetus to operating an even more effective service delivery.

“The BPS currently releases the crime statistics each quarter to facilitate “effective and open communication with our stakeholders… inform them of the plans, efforts and progress being made by the BPS” and to “provide meaningful information” to reassure communities in Bermuda.

Mr Baron continued: “Monthly publication of reported crimes and the outcomes of crimes, and made available to anyone with internet access, would help the BPS achieve these aims while increasing public trust and making the service more accountable to the community it serves.

“Government needs to move toward greater transparency and accountability in the entire criminal justice system. The BPS now looks beyond the work of crime analysts – seeking input from residents for their targets and policing priorities.

“This enhances their relationship with the community and builds public confidence. Crime maps, along with daily access to interactive crime reports and outcomes, will help the public hold the Government, the BPS and other partnerships accountable.

“I encourage the public to visit and experience the empowerment of fresh, accurate crime data available to you within seconds. Picture the positive impact this can have on our residents who fear the unknown of crime, on our social clubs and youth and our community leaders who must confront the issues.

“Looking at solutions, like crime mapping, makes our community better informed and engaged. And, as Bermuda can appreciate, an engaged and empowered community is the key to public safety across the Island,” concluded Mr Baron.

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Comments (36)

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  1. PLP & OBA On Crime Reduction Measures | | August 16, 2012
  1. kenny says:

    I agree with Jeff. Everyone must play a part in crime prevention; expedite the info into the communities that need it.

  2. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Finally a logical answer in how to deal with crime on this island. Now just need to get him as our National Security Minister!!! Keep yah head up Baron.

    • Rockfish#1and#2 says:

      He makes more sense than a former Commissioner.

    • Mack says:

      It doesn’t deal with crime…just reporting on it in more detail.

    • what BS says:

      I can see that you might just be the dumb clown. All this will do is tell people where the high crime Parishes are. Let me give you and idea what will happen next. When people are looking for homes to buy or apartments to rent……..


      The website would more popular then Bernews, since people will be logging on every day to see what Parishes have the most red blips.

  3. RUFKM says:

    Wonderful Idea Jeff Baron, now tell me how much it would cost and who would pay for it.

    Oh that’s right OBA ignore the detais and just promise the world.

    3 questions: Who’s taxes are you going to raise to pay for this? Who are you going to fire to pay for this? How much more will you borrow to pay for this?

    If you can’t answer these questions Jeff, you should keep it shut!

    • 32n64w says:

      It shouldn’t cost very much at all. The Government already has a digitized, fully searchable map system in place (refer to the department of planning website for a working example). This idea will only require the integration of historical data input (dates, times, locations, crime, etc.) from existing police records which users can then select from a drop down menu or matrix to create a graphical overlay of trouble spots.

      In fact, the same mapping data sets could be shared with existing mapping service providers (Google Earth comes to mind) to improve and correct their Bermuda imaging as well as GPS providers (Garmin, TomTom, etc.). This could help the taxi industry move beyond the outdated hardware they were forced to buy under the friends and family plan to something more user friendly, efficient and informative.

      We could even track all those GP cars to ensure they weren’t be used outside of office hours or to confirm how absolutely necessary it was to buy oversize vehicles to chauffeur visiting dignitaries around. I mean with a fleet now in excess of 125 cars plus a few unmarked ones (those large blue sedans as an example) the taxpayers can see in real time how efficiently their dollars are being spent by the PLP.

      Not too hard to comprehend. Its just an efficient use of existing resources which I appreciate may seem alien given the last 14+ years of obfuscation, excessive spending, zero accountability and policy flip-flopping.

      If you want to help this plan come to fruition you need only fire the PLP.

    • Navin Johnson says:

      What’s wrong dude? Sorry your former comissioner who presided over the crime splurge has nothing to say?

    • Rick Rock says:

      Ironic that when a great idea comes up, the PLP suddenly stop sipping champagne and start asking about how to pay for it.

      Are they all back from their luxury trip to the Olympics yet, by the way?

    • Rick Rock says:

      Well, RUFKM, I guess you’ll now have to ask Jonathan Smith why the PLP is ‘ignoring the details’, won’t you. Ask Jonathan Smith ‘who he’s going to fire’ and ‘how much he’s going to borrow’ to pay for this. Because even he has weighed in and said he likes this OBA idea.

      And, I guess you’ll say to Jonathan Smith that if he can’t answer these questions he should ‘keep it shut’.

      Did I quote you correctly?

  4. Truth is killin' me... says:

    RUFKM why don’t you keep it shut! I wouldn’t mind paying taxes to something that would actually decrease crime instead of all these dead ends that have been done already by this Government! Why not use money on something that WORKS yah dreamer!!!

  5. smh says:

    Ridiculous. How will this solve crime? All this will do is stigmatize people and cause stereotypes. “Oh- you live in a high crime area.”

    Transparency? Why do we need to know every single detail? How will this help anything?

    We need to realize that any information released to the public is also released to the criminals! Some things are private for a reason!

    • Open ya eyes . says:

      I’ll give you a clue seeing you obviously need help. Presently , despite our technologically oh so highly connected world, we know nothing about what’s happening a few doors away from us.
      Just as an example there was a group of vermin working a large area in my parish a few years back. Thanks to our piss poor reporting of crimes due to the police and the printed media they were actually in my back yard and none of us knew it until a spunky neighbour caught them in her yard one afternoon claiming to be ‘looking for a hustle’. She was responsible for cracking a crime spree that saw 14 houses being broken into and over $135,000 in cash and personal belongings stolen.

      A system like Jeff proposes could benefit us all

      Stigmatise who ? ? Besides ,there’s no safe neighbourhoods anymore. This island has sunk into a bog of crime.

  6. Angry Tax Payer says:

    Given the current status of our crime levels and stats, regarding the present government. I am more than willing to open up to new ideas. Jeff Baron, I like it so far, don’t entertain the haters, keep up the good work!

    My Hope is that the island will come together and combat this evil cloud thats threatening our way of life. We have to remember that we aren’y the only ones with sun, sand, and clear water!

  7. Check it out says:

    Brilliant idea now we are thinking ,let’s,do it!

  8. Jonathan Smith says:

    Crime mapping technology has been around in various forms for twenty years or more. The technology has gone through several evolutions and among the challenges posed to virtually all Police Services is the integration between CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch), crime and incident recording systems and crime mapping itself. The fact that the UK rolled out crime mapping only as recently as 2011 (on the national level) speaks to the complexity. In any event, the technology is already well on the BPS’s radar screen. In fact, the BPS included it as one of eight technology based solutions in their own Strategic Plan 2012-2015. Calls for it today are not new. The BPS has already identified it as a technology objective and work towards implementation.

    • welldone says:

      Thanks Senator Smith!

    • Family Man says:

      I hear PATI calling. She’s been calling for so long now …..

    • 32n64w says:

      Um … Is the UK only 21 square miles?

    • Mad Dawg says:

      Jonathan Smith never saw a bandwagon he didn’t want to jump on.

      Taking credit for OBA ideas now Jonathan?

  9. curious says:

    This is a great idea – constructive. Senator Smith – It sounds like you are trying to dismiss it on some level because Mr. Baron has put it forward for consideration (or implementation) in Bermuda. A good idea is a good idea. (aparently part of a Police strategic plan – that the public seems to be unaware of).

    • Jonathan Smith says:

      Crime mapping, (which is also known as Geographic Information Systems – GIS)is fully supported by me. I have seen it work, seen it at work and been an advocate of it. In the Police’s current Strategic Plan 2012-2015 under Technology Solutions, you will see “crime mapping” already identified as one of eight technology solutions they are pursuing right now. The Police are well on track to modernise this aspect of their operations and this involves integrating existing systems such as their CAD and crime and incident recording systems. There’s no need to suggest this is “apparently” in their Plan. It is and the Plan is published and online at

      • argosy says:

        So….what’s the problem with implementing it?

        Oh, sorry, forgot. No money left in the coffers. They are all empty thanks to the unethical takers who JS now supports!

        That’s funny!!

      • Limey says:

        Will crime mapping affect house prices in that neighborhood, yes!

  10. xfiles says:

    The BPS can’t even get their cellphones to work most of the time.And I’m told their attempt to install video cameras in some vehicles is a mess.So how in the world will they manage something like geographic incident mapping??

  11. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Now now Jonathan Smith. You’re a POLITICIAN now and yah BLUFFIN’! I checked the BPS website and searched “crime mapping”, “GIS” and “CAD” and it gave me no results. Your search yielded no results
    •Check if your spelling is correct.
    •Remove quotes around phrases to match each word individually: “blue smurf” will match less than blue smurf.
    •Consider loosening your query with OR: blue smurf will match less than blue OR smurf.


  12. Limey says:

    The only problem with this is in my view people who live in a crie hotspot confirmed by the map, will have their house prices fall considerably, law of unforeseen consequences perhaps?

    • navin Johnson says:

      uh you mean more than they have already fallen due to the increase in crime and lack of jobs and gang violence and stuff like that? not to mention unemployment and IB leaving…cant have it both ways if you want security…..

  13. Pelican says:

    Sharing of information regarding crimes committed has got to be a useful tool for the public. I think most people who have thought it through will agree on this point. The Opposition has done a good job in highlighting it as a potential weapon in the arsenal against crime……it seems the Govt spokespersons agree……so let’s actually see it happen.

  14. hmmm says:

    The posters on here are hilarious. Why is Jonathan Smith getting attacked by some of you? I think its likely because he is a PLP Senator. Nowhere did he decry Jeff Baron’s suggestion in theory, he simply stated that this type of tracking is the BPS already.

    Secondly, I would be concerned as to how this could put further stigmas on certain neighborhoods. Bermuda already suffers from a NIMBY syndrome on most things. I feel this would have a negative impact on housing values and just cause more angst if the public had access to it. Perhaps the BPS when they release their statistics could identify crimes by parish etc but once it gets more specific than that it may cause unintended consequences.

  15. Rockfish#1and#2 says:

    This is getting more interesting as the election approaches.
    Smith is now the spokesman for the BPS as well as the Ministry of National Security!

    Minister Perinchief and Commissioner DeSilva, where are you?

  16. Halloween says:

    So if someone was to, say, get naked and take a dump in my neighbor’s fountain, would this show up on the map? What sort of symbol would you use to map that?

    Watch out, Naked Fountain Sh!tter, your days are numbered!

  17. Joonya says:

    CAD..GIS…? I got something better, its called a BAT (Buss-@ss-Technology).
    Can be purchased at sports r us for less that $100.
    As many have said before, old school licks need to come back!!