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Welcome to the
San Francisco Police Department
This site has been created to allow people with an interest in public safety to easily produce maps and reports of incidents from data contained in SFPD police reports. Now members of community groups and neighborhood watches can get public safety information whenever they like - as often as they like.
To use this service reliably, you will need the following. If you don't have this setup where you are, you can go to most public libraries, where high-speed internet access on mostly Windows PC's is available free of charge.
- A computer running Microsoft Windows, and the Internet Explorer browser, Version 5.5 or higher.
- Because the maps created by this site contain lots of detail, you will also need a high-speed connection to the internet, such as DSL or a cable modem.
Besides using CrimeMaps, there are additional ways to learn more about public safety in your neighborhood, and to get involved.
- You may call the Police District Station in your area of interest. This website is part of a larger CrimeMaps system available to each District Station. It allows SFPD officers to create maps and reports of crimes with more detail and for longer periods than the public CrimeMaps system. For information on the location and phone numbers of District Police Stations, see sfgov.org/police Ask for the Captain's staff familiar with CrimeMaps.
- You may attend the public meetings held each month by the District Captain whose officers patrol your neighborhood. You can meet the Captain and discuss any questions or concerns you have regarding public safety. Meetings are usually held weekday evenings, for the convenience of working people. For information on District community meetings, call or visit your local District Police Station.
- You may join a community group or neighborhood watch near you. For more information, contact SF-SAFE at sfsafe.org, or call (415) 673-SAFE.
Questions and answers about the CrimeMaps service:
How can I learn to use CrimeMaps?
We have designed CrimeMaps to be easy to use, with several pages of HELP instructions for you to read. HELP is available anytime, and you can print out the instructions for easier reference as you use CrimeMaps.
Where does CrimeMaps data come from? CrimeMaps data comes from police Incident Reports written by our officers. When our officers write an Incident Report, they may include one or more offenses that occurred during the incident. For reports containing more than one offense, there is always a primary offense. For example, if the Incident Report contains a robbery and an assault, the robbery will be designated the primary offense, because robbery is the more serious offense. For simplicity and to avoid duplicate counts of Reports, this site gives only the primary offense for each incident.
What can I search for in CrimeMaps? You will be able to search for police report data based on the type of offense, the location of occurrence, and the date of occurrence - the "What", "Where", and "When" of reports. (More details are included in HELP.)
- Offense types: Homicide (see below), forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, arson, burglary, larceny (theft), vehicle theft, vandalism, and drug offenses.
- Location of Occurrence: This must be in San Francisco, and can be near an address, intersection or landmark or within geographic boundaries. Geographic boundaries include neighborhoods, zip codes and police districts. Landmark features include streets, parks, public and private schools, neighborhood watch groups and MUNI routes.
- Dates of Occurrence: Available for the last 90 days, as entered by yesterday.
How current is the data in CrimeMaps? Report data is transferred into CrimeMaps once a day from SFPD's main report computer. Through this site, you can access information on all police Incident Reports made and entered into our computers as of yesterday, and as far back as the last 90 days. There are delays in entering police reports. See below for details.
Why do I get different results if I use CrimeMaps today than when I used it last week? The Department is constantly receiving police reports, at the rate of about 350 a day, some for recent offenses as well as older ones. So the reports shown for any date can vary, depending on when you query CrimeMaps. There are several reasons this happens:
- Delays in reporting crimes. Citizens may discover a crime, but choose not report it for days, weeks, months, or even years after the crime has occurred - though we do our best to encourage reporting crimes as soon as they are discovered.
- Delays in entering reports into our computer. Currently, police reports must be retyped into our computers by clerks, a process that is affected by staffing. Depending on the type of report, this entry could take a couple of weeks.
The result of all these delays is that it may take a couple of weeks from the time an incident occurs to the time it shows up in CrimeMaps. A new records management system is being implemented that will significantly reduce these delays.
Why can't I see an incident on my map? CrimeMaps uses GIS (geographic information system) software. GIS can only map those incidents with addresses it recognizes, or where the location was known to the victim. Thus, if a persons pocket was picked "somewhere on the Muni," this will not be shown on the map, as there is no specific location. The result is that a number of incidents may appear on a report generated by this site, but won't show on the map. If the location is known, and the incident still doesn't appear on the map, please let us know (see below for how to contact us) so we can determine the cause.
Why can't I see incidents the way I heard about them in the media? Offenses may be shown differently than what was described by the media. This is so, because incidents may change in nature following the initial report. Thus, a homicide may appear on this site as a robbery, because when the incident was initially reported the victim was still alive, and did not die from injuries suffered during the robbery until several days later.
Why don't Homicides appear correctly on CrimeMaps? A homicide may not appear correctly on the map because:
- The incident was initially reported as an assault and the victim died some time later from the injuries.
- The incident was reported as an arson, and the body was not found until a later time.
- A body was found and the cause of death was not obvious to the officer making the incident report.
How can I see the police report for the incident shown on my map? Use the Identify tool to click on the incident. This will bring up a window containing the incident number, along with other details. You can use this incident number to order a copy of Incident Report by mail from the Report Management Section. To hear recorded instructions, call (415) 553-1286. Of course, some reports cannot be released due to pending investigations or other legal reasons, and released reports will be redacted prior to release, to comply with laws protecting the privacy of sexual assault victims, juveniles, and others.
How can I get a map or report for more than 90 days, or one for special purposes? For maps and reports that are more involved than what is available here, have your community group contact the local District Station. CrimeMaps coordinators at each District have been trained to access a more comprehensive version of CrimeMaps. They can produce maps and statistics with greater detail and over larger periods of time, but there may be a delay of several days due to station workloads. For concerns regarding crime trends in your community, contact the Captain of the District Station nearest you, as described at the top of this page.
I have read the above information, and understand that this site is for informational purposes only.
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