Since the Billerica Police Department jumped into social media in the last year we’ve been providing a constant flow of information to our residents. Much of the information we distribute includes crimes like residential and commercial breaks, larcenies and vandalisms. Residents that keep connected with BPD on Twitter, Facebook or crimereports.com are more aware of criminal activity in their neighborhoods than ever before. Is there a negative to all of this information? We think there is and it has to do with the public perception of crime. If you don’t hear about crime, is it occurring? When you do hear about it, does that mean the crime rate is increasing? When the questions are framed this way most people know the answers.
We found a great piece from Scott Dickson, a crime analyst in central Texas that hits squarely on this issue. It’s a good read for those that may not be familiar with crime statistics and how they relate to public perception of crime. You can read it at Scott’s blog here.
As a reminder, we keep crime statistics on our website here for those that like to keep up with the raw numbers. As we finalize the statistics we update the page to reflect them.