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Baton Rouge Police Department Incident Maps
The pin-map you are about to view depicts a reasonably accurate snapshot of the locations of certain types of crimes reported to the Baton Rouge Police Department over the previous seven days.
In simple terms, a computer program searches all the police reports entered into our system each day and looks for certain statute violations. Once those particular violations are identified, the locations of the crimes are then extracted and interfaced with a mapping program where the addresses are overlaid and a pin icon is assigned. Every day this data is automatically updated by the computer. As new reported crimes are added to the display, older reported crimes roll off.
Like any automated statistical summary, however, the process is not perfect. Quicker posting speed inevitably means sacrificing the degree of accuracy that comes with more extensive review and verification. Here are some of the inherent limitations and most common shortcomings that the user should be aware of when viewing and interpreting our crime maps.
Most importantly, while these pin maps are based upon initial investigative
police reports, and are consistent with the standards used to compile our
official Uniform Crime Reports (submitted monthly to the FBI), they do not
reflect our official crime statistics and should never be represented as such.
Our department’s official crime statistics are subjected to additional scrutiny
and review while being compiled and therefore take longer to publish. They can
be found on our UCR pages.
By Uniform Crime Report standards, if a single incident includes multiple violations of criminal laws, only the most serious offense is counted. This is known as the hierarchy rule. But with the mapping program, if a single incident includes several criminal violations, those may appear as multiple crimes on the pin maps, even though they all resulted from the same incident. For example, if someone robs a business, burglarizes a storage building, and then steals a car to escape, it will appear as three different crimes on the pin maps – a robbery, a burglary and an auto theft – but it would only be counted as one crime (the most serious one) in subsequent UCR statistics.
All pin map locations are rounded to the nearest block. This is done to protect the privacy of victims by not revealing the exact address of crimes. However, this will occasionally result in multiple crimes showing up as only one pin. The most common occurrence would probably be vehicle burglaries. For instance, it is not uncommon for several cars to be broken into in one parking lot of an apartment complex, or a single block of a neighborhood. If that happens, even if 10 cars are broken into, the mapping software will only display one pin for that block. The same limitation holds true if the same offense occurs more than once in the same block within the seven day mapping period. In other words, if a store was robbed on Monday, and then the store next door (in the same block) was robbed the following Friday, the mapping program would only recognize and display one pin, even though two different robberies occurred on two different dates at two different businesses.
The types and numbers of crimes reflected by the pin maps are based on actual police reports, and categorized by the initial responding officer. If that officer misclassifies the type of crime, or if the wrong date or any other inaccurate information is inadvertently entered into the initial report, it could cause the pin map could be inaccurate.
Crimes will not appear on the pin map immediately when they’re reported, but rather only once the report is entered into the department’s computer system. And sometimes police reports take several days to be entered into the department’s computer system. This may be due to the investigating officer not being able to finish the report during his regular tour of duty and then being off-duty for the next several days for one reason or another (sick/vacation/training/regular days off). Or it could be due to a computer malfunction – sometimes reports are even deleted or lost and have to be regenerated.
The day the crime “rolls off” the seven day snapshot is based on when the offense occurred, not when the report was entered into the system. Therefore, if it takes more than seven days from the time of the offense for the report to be written, reviewed, approved and entered into the system, that offense may never appear on the pin map.
Since these automated, daily updated maps are generated based upon several different systems and software programs successfully interfacing with one another, any glitches or maintenance work with any of those systems may delay the mapping.
There will occasionally be pin map location errors due to the way the investigating officer enters the street name of where the offense occurred. (North Boulevard vs. North Street, South 16th vs. North 16th, North Acadian Thruway East vs. North Acadian Thruway West, etc.)
There may occasionally be changes in the statutes, as enacted by the legislature, that may expand or narrow the elements of certain crimes, or even create whole new crimes. Those types of changes may require reprogramming of the system, which could cause delays.
I have read the information above and understand the crime pin maps I am about to view do not represent official crime statistics and are subject to certain inherent inaccuracies.