SpotCrime.com is a free app and website that aggregates data from police agencies, local news, and user reports to create neighborhood-specific crime lists and maps. SpotCrime shows incidents of theft, shooting, burglary, assault, vandalism, and arrest. Users may also sign up to receive crime alerts for their area via email, Facebook, Twitter, SMS or RSS. The app and website are ideal for those wanting to stay in the know about crime news in their area, as well as those looking for information about neighborhoods and cities they’re planning to move to or visit. The crime map makes it easy to get a high level overview of crime information for an area.
- Spotcrime+ App: Spotcrime is available in apps for Android and iOS, unlike some competitors, which means users can easily access its features on the go. Users who travel may particularly enjoy the app because it makes it easy to find the safest areas in new places.
- Free to use: There are no subscription fees or paywalls limiting access to crime reports. Both the website and app are available for free.
- Limited data: SpotCrime offers a comprehensive look at crime in particular areas, but it doesn’t provide additional information it’s competitors offer, like school ratings or home prices.
- Glitchy maps: Several users of both the website and app complain about maps being slow to load and the zoom feature on maps being difficult to use. Additionally, some users report maps failing to load after they input a location.
- Missing information: Some users report new crimes taking several days or weeks to appear on the site. Additionally, there are complaints that the app is not updated regularly.
Things to Consider
SpotCrime is a data aggregator designed for those who are looking for a no-frills approach to monitoring crime. The website and SpotCrime+ app use data from police departments, verified news reports, and user reports, and plot the data on Google maps using simple graphics to describe what type of crime occurred.
Crimes on SpotCrime are classified by type, so it’s easy to see the types of crime that are most prevalent in a given area, including whether an area has high rates of violent crimes. Additionally, users can sort crime data by date and proximity to a specific address. Each crime displayed on the map can be clicked to find more information. Available details include the type of crime, where it occurred, the time and date of the occurrence, a case number, and a link to the source where the information was gathered, such as the local police department.
Users can sign up for crime alerts for a specific address and receive updates via text message, email, or on social media. The SpotCrime+ app also provides users with an easy and flexible way to access local crime data at any time. The information on SpotCrime is sourced from police reports, local news, and user reports, so it’s reliable. There may be a delay in new crimes being added to a particular map, however.
Related: SpotCrime is featured in our picks for the best crime maps
If you’re looking for overall trends in crime or a comprehensive report on a specific area, you may be left wanting by SpotCrime’s offerings. While it maps crimes in an area over time, SpotCrime doesn’t break down important details, like whether crime is trending up or down in an area or how a location’s crime rate compares to crime rates in other places, statewide, or nationally. SpotCrime is easy and free to use, but there are sometimes difficulties with loading maps and zooming in to specific areas. The website and app are also loaded with ads, which can sometimes make it difficult for users to navigate to the information they’re looking for.
SpotCrime is 100% focused on crime, and it doesn’t include information about local schools, businesses, home prices, demographics, and other details that you may be looking for when moving to a new area. If you’re trying to find a great new place to live, you may need to consult additional sources to find what you’re looking for. The site is more geared towards those who are focused on crime, whether they’re scoping out where to take their next bathroom break on a road trip or just keeping up with events in their own neighborhood. Between the site, the app, and the ability to get updates sent directly, those users are sure to find what they’re looking for.
The Bottom Line
Staying in the know about local crime can be difficult. SpotCrime does the hard work for its users by providing data from a variety of sources and mapping it so it’s easily searchable by date and location. You’ll likely enjoy that the site is free to use, and that you’ll have the option of signing up for updates or downloading the SpotCrime+ app for no cost. But you may find SpotCrime’s data limited if you aren’t familiar with the areas you’re investigating. SpotCrime is a useful and easy to use tool for homeowners, travelers, and those looking to move. It provides a solid introduction to the goings-on in particular areas, and gives users a jumping off point as they seek more information about safety and risks in specific communities.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.