Dublin residents can get a look at crime in their neighborhood with a new online tool.
The Dublin Police Department is now using RAIDS Online, software that will allow residents to see crimes on a map, receive alerts and leave anonymous tips for police.
"We've had crime mapping software on our website for some time," Dublin Police Chief Heinz von Eckartsberg said.
"We thought RAIDS Online was more functional for the public.
"With more functionality and more access to records we thought we could get information out quicker and be more transparent," von Eckartsberg said.
Raidsonline.com provides a map with information about the date, address and type of crime that occurred.
"Through the web we can provide this information to the public at virtually no cost," von Eckartsberg said.
"We do go further and pay RAIDS Online for an advanced version we can use in-house for crime analysis and crime predictions.
"Looking at crime trends is very, very helpful," he said.
Knowing crime trends and where they occur can also be helpful for residents, von Eckartsberg said.
"Major crime in Dublin is thefts and burglaries and primarily thefts from vehicles," he said.
"We hope by seeing where these occur people can get an idea and take action to help themselves from becoming a victim of crime. These are crimes of opportunity."
To refrain from becoming a victim of the most common crimes in Dublin, von Eckartsberg said people should take steps such as keeping valuables out of sight in their vehicles or trimming landscaping so doors and windows at home are visible.
"It makes it a little harder target," he said. "They're looking for the easiest victim."
Along with information about crimes in Dublin, RAIDS Online also provides a chance for residents to leave tips for police.
"We haven't gotten lots of tips, but we have gotten some," von Eckartsberg said.
Whereas the new software will provide more information to Dublin residents, it does not provide much more work for Dublin police officers.
"It was some extra work getting the system up and running only because we wanted to put in quite a bit of information," von Eckartsberg said.
"We have seven years of data.
"People can go back as far as seven years. That took a little time," he said.
"Now a completed report automatically uploads to the system three times a day after it gets the supervisors approval."
RAIDS Online isn't something utilized only by Dublin police.
"One of the best parts is a lot of other people use it," von Eckartsberg said, adding that Franklin, Union, Licking and Knox counties and Columbus also use RAIDS Online. Westerville will soon use the software.