The Vestavia Hills Police Department is turning to a website to keep the community informed about crime in the area.
CrimeReports.com shows crime reports overlaid onto a map. Users can search by address and click on various icons to review what crime reports police have filed in their area. Residents can also submit tips for non-emergency situations and see which sex offenders have registered in their area.
A quick search Thursday night of Vestavia Hills shows several reports, mostly of theft and breaking and entering. Police say this is an important tool to help track crime and determine, for example, if patrols should be increased in a certain area.
"It gives us trends, data analysis of things that are really valuable things that weren't available to use two years ago. Without a lot of paper and a lot of research ," said Vestavia Hills Police Lt. Brian Gilham.
According to the website, there are also smartphone apps available for users to keep up with reports on the go.
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