In an effort to provide citizens with an interactive tool to explore and chart crime in their neighbourhoods, police unveiled the new online Crime Mapping application yesterday.

“It allows Calgarians to monitor their community and we hope it will continue to engage the community with (police),” Supt. Katie McLellan said at the unveiling.

The public will be able to choose types of crimes and the area they would like to search and, after a few clicks, can have results displayed on an interactive map.

“Sometimes they may not be aware of the types of crime happening in their communities, and this will just help make them aware and able to watch for suspicious activity,” McLellan said.

Bob Duke, who helped to develop the application, said the site is simple to use and has many other tools and options for people looking for more information.

“We think anyone who use map-type things before will really like this,” he said.

One concern from the public is that the new website option will instil more fear into communities and citizens across the city, including Darren Dyrland, who lives in the heart of the Beltline, which has had 489 crimes in the past three months alone.

“No, I don’t think it’s useful and it will just scare people even more,” Dyrland said.

“If we live here, we’re already very aware about the types of crime and we don’t need to be reminded.”

But McLellan said that is not the intention of the interactive map.

“We just want to help make people aware, this isn’t to pit communities against one another or cause fear,” she said.

The website will show the types and frequencies of crime, but police are careful not to give exact addresses or details about the victims. The tool can be accessed at www.calgarypolice.ca.