An interactive data clearinghouse will give decision-makers broader access to crime statistics.
North Carolina’s Criminal Justice Analysis Center (CJAC) announced a new centralized, interactive portal for criminal justice data collected by agencies across the state.
The Justice Data Portal aims to provide broad access to criminal justice data and is launching with data from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), the FBI’s crime database.
CJAC analyzed the NIBRS data and developed the public dashboards, which currently present state- and county-level data, including crime rates, crimes reported by month and information about the reporting status of law enforcement agencies, according to the announcement.
The state’s law enforcement agencies regularly contribute to NIBRS, said Department of Public Safety Secretary Eddie Buffaloe, Jr. Using the information in conjunction with other sources will help decision-makers determine which victim services providers to fund, he added.
With a dropdown menu, users can toggle between a statewide view of reported crimes or data by county. Interactive charts and graphs illustrate the most frequently committed crimes, among other data. Users can also view charts based on NIBRS crime counts, including the number of crimes per 100,000 people, reported crime count by year and crime location.
CJAC soon plans to incorporate aggregated demographic information on reported NC offenders and crime victims. These datasets will include information on race, ethnicity, sex, and age – and for victims, their relationship to the offender. Additional sources, like traffic stop data, will also be included in subsequent NIBRS releases.
Other states, like Idaho and Colorado, have rolled out similar collaborative criminal justice data projects in recent months. Idaho’s state police launched a redesigned Tableau-based dashboard to enable users to sift through crime data from 2005 to 2020. In an effort to boost transparency and reduce crime, the Boulder, Colo., Police Department introduced an open data portal that lets citizens and officials view when and where criminal offenses happened in the city, and how the total number has changed over time. Users can filter by offense type and neighborhood as well.
“The new Justice Data Portal provides access to a rich source of information to identify underserved victims, review the effectiveness of existing victim services and programs or guide technical resource development for service providers,” North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission Executive Director Caroline Farmer said.