Sunday, 29 January 2017

Using The QPS Statistics Tool

The Queensland Police Online Crime Statistics tool is an excellent resource for Neighbourhood Watch Groups seeking up-to-date information about crime in their patch. You can find the link to the tool at the top of the North Buderim Neighbourhood Watch group page:

Here's a closer look (the link in question is highlighted pale yellow in this image):

Copy and paste the link into your browser and hit the GO button. The browser I am using is Mozilla Firefox so your screen might look a little different if you're using Internet Explorer, Edge, Google Chrome or Safari. After you've copied and pasted it's a good idea to Bookmark / add to Favourites. The first time you go to this page you might get something mysterious (particularly if your browser window is small):

Don't Panic, Scroll Down - the funny little thing at the bottom of the image above turns out to be a notification that Microsoft Silverlight needs to be activated:

So click on the link and you'll get one of those really pesky 'Are You Sure You Want To Do This?' alert messages:

Yes, you are sure, you do really want to do this. After Silverlight is activated there's a bit of loading and then you are presented with a screen that has a map of Queensland and some menus on the left. It's the menus that are the interesting bit at this stage. We want to contain the results to our patch and not worry about Fortitude Valley. Let's have a look at the filters:

So the first filter is the 'where' part. This is top left of the window. I type in Maroochydore rather than using the drop-downs because it's faster for me (everybody who lives in this part of the world knows how to spell Maroochydore, right?):

And I use Maroochydore because 1) I don't always get what I'm expecting if I type in Buderim, which is not a police district, and 2) I'm actually interested in what's been happening just beyond the borders of North Buderim. Now, before you click the GO button, scroll down a bit, because we need to define the time period of interest:

So I changed the dates to be the whole of December 2016 by clicking on the start and end calender icons and selecting the dates I wanted. The next thing to do is hit a GO button but it's not the one next to the date settings, it's the one next to the Police District:

Here is the whole of Maroochydore (wow, what a lot of red dots), but that's fine, we can zoom in. If you have a wheel mouse, zoom in. If you don't you're going to have to use the navigation tool, which is partly greyed out at the top left of the map (it brightens up if you hover over it):

Now you know why you need a wheel mouse. So after zooming in this is what you get:

The legend for all the icons is on the left of the window. If you point your mouse pointer at an icon, you'll get information on the offence (what it is, time and date, and whether it's been solved), although my mouse pointer is not visible in these screen grabs:

But what about the other red dots, that just have a number on them? The number refers to the number of crimes at that particular location. Hover your mouse pointer over the red dot and the number of subsidiary red dots will spin out. Then hover your mouse pointer over one of the subsidiaries to get the details (the one on the right in this case):

So there you go - as much information about crime on your patch as you are ever likely to need.

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