In a bid to increase internet traffic, the Los Angeles Times has introduced an interactive crime map, outlining the crime incidents in LA cities and neighborhoods. You're going to be a bit stunned by what you find.
I took it upon myself to look up Woodland Hills, my favorite stomping ground in the San Fernando Valley, which is known for its affluent neighborhoods and sprawling mall scene. Here's how it works:
I enter the name of the city and a map pops up that show what types of crimes were committed from the last week.
The map indicates that there were three violent crimes and 24 property crimes committed, that included reports of an aggravated assault that took place close to my former community college on De Soto and Victory, as well as a grand theft auto near Kaiser Permanente Hospital, located several blocks away.
As the map reveals, the crime figures for the area were surprisingly higher than in less affluent Reseda.
For people like me who avoid maps altogether, the website also provides an easy-to-read listing of specific crimes, where they occurred and at what time within that time frame.
Meanwhile, the bottom portion provides more detailed information including a six-month summary as well as monthly and weekly totals of property and violent crimes.
There were extra goodies, including a map of schools as well as a brief description of the demographics, broken down by race and income level, in the area.
I particularly enjoyed reading the comment section, where readers shared their fondest memories of Woodland Hills and a description of their favorite sites.
I am not all that sure what to do with the information, although a homeowner who is staking out new property might find all this quite fascinating. Nonetheless, it's all good stuff.