Crime can vary sharply from neighborhood to neighborhood across Los Angeles. Figuring out how your community is coping with burglary or car theft can be confusing. The police don’t break down crime statistics by neighborhood.
Crosstown is trying to make that easy by sending you information directly to your phone. It’s called the Crosstown crime text tool. Here’s how it works:
Text “Hello” to (844) 751-1113.
Or just plug your number in here:
It is free to access (standard message rates apply).
Type in your neighborhood in the City of Los Angeles, and Crosstown will send you a range of crime stats. (Right now, the service only works for neighborhoods within the city.)
The crime text tool offers simple prompts that ask whether you want the overall crime rate, burglary or stolen car information for your neighborhood. Within seconds it reveals how many crimes have occurred in each community so far this year, and how the current data compares to the previous year.
Once you get information on one category or neighborhood, you can choose another.
“We’re always looking for new ways to get this data to people who can use it,” said Crosstown Editor and Publisher Gabriel Kahn, a professor at USC Annenberg School of Journalism. “We’re able to do this because of a grant from the Lenfest Foundation that allowed us to partner with Ground Source, which provided the texting platform.”
This is one in a series of new tools that Crosstown is delivering. If you are interested in being a beta tester for the new neighborhood newsletter, then use the crime text tool, and when you are done, punch in your email address.
How we did it: We collect publicly available data from the Los Angeles Police Department on all reported crimes for the first 11 months of the year. For neighborhood boundaries, we rely on the borders defined by the Los Angeles Times. Learn more about our data here. We then worked with a service called GroundSource to make the data available via a texting tool.