Wondering how bad crime is in your neighborhood? There's a website for that. Crime Reports, the self purported "leader in online crime mapping," can show you just how bad things are parcel by parcel.
Police departments send data to CrimeReports, which then creates mashups on a Google Map. Users can zoom into neighborhoods and find out what crimes have taken place. The site maps out a variety of incidents ranging from theft to sexual assault.
Cities from across the country contribute information but not every location lists results. Most every Bay Area city we checked have available listings.
Be ready to lose some time out of your day once you click into the site. The first place you will want to check is your neighborhood. Then you'll want to check your work address. Then maybe your mom's place. Etc. etc.
When you plug in San Francisco it becomes visually clear that most crimes happen in the eastern half of the 49-square miles of the City. Take your eyes across the Bay Bridge and you will find in Oakland you can barely see any street markings because the entire city is covered in crime.
CrimeReports.com says they created the site to make it easier for citizens to visualize law enforcement data. Think of it as a sort of virtual "neighborhood watch." Information is published in near real-time, converting raw crime data into easily accessible, actionable information.
The real question is, after viewing the map, how safe will you feel the next time you go for a walk around the block.