Is Crime On The Rise In Mountain View?

IMG_20130617_042654One of the beauties of social media is law enforcement’s ability to present information to the public in a quick and timely manner. Whether it’s a Tweet about a traffic incident, a suspect’s photo on Facebook or an alert via Nixle, we have the ability — now more than ever — to connect and inform our community, fast.

On the one hand, social media’s insertion into law enforcement allows for greater public visibility. On the other, it uncovers a window into the ever-present reality of crime. This new perspective can often be a surprising and jarring transition for communities as police departments make public incidents, trends and statistics. It requires a mindset shift from the unknown to the known as we begin to consistently disseminate information to the public.

It is MVPD’s hope this level of transparency not only provides additional clarity into how we serve the community, but is the impetus needed to create connections within your own neighborhood. Combine these interactions with a wholistic approach to crime prevention and criminal apprehension and the confluence of community, law enforcement and social becomes a very powerful force.

“It [social media] requires a mindset shift from the unknown to the known…”

Recent uptick in bike thefts? Know what resources are at your disposal to prevent and support you during and after an incident occurs. As an example, you can register your bike in Mountain View, so in the event it’s stolen and recovered, we can positively identify who it belongs to.

bike

Residential burglaries hitting your area? Helps us prevent and deter would-be criminals from approaching your home through neighborhood meetings. MVPD’s Community Action and Information Unit works with a myriad of organizations to discuss various safety tips and other crime prevention tools to help keep your family, home and neighborhood safe.

Social media is a great tool allowing us to reach a wide audience within a short amount of time. However, it’s just that: a tool. We still need the human power — in tandem with social media — to further strengthen our neighborhoods so we can provide a safer and more secure community for all.


LtHsiungAbout the author: Lieutenant Chris Hsiung is assigned to Special Operations and is the social media manager in charge of strategy, community engagement and growth through the police department social media channels. Chris has been serving the Mountain View community for over 18  years and has held a variety of assignments within MVPD. These include detective assignments in Property Crimes, Person Crimes, and High Tech Crimes as well as collateral assignments on SWAT and the Field Evidence Team. Twitter: @chMtnViewPD.

STAbout the co-author: Shino Tanaka is MVPD’s Public Safety and Social Media Community Coordinator where she also leads the Community Action and Information Unit. Shino drives the department’s social strategy and community relations. Prior to joining MVPD, she worked in social product development for technology start-ups — one of which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson. Shino is also a former police officer with Menlo Park Police Department.

8 thoughts on “Is Crime On The Rise In Mountain View?

  1. Susan

    A very useful article, but you don’t answer the question you posed in the headline. I’m sure your engagement metrics (click through rates) are through the roof with a title like that! However, it’s a bit like crying wolf… & it left this reader feeling annoyed.

    1. Mountain View PD

      Hi Susan – Thank you for your post! The title of this actually came from questions we received, so we thought it appropriate as we were trying to address the community’s concerns. Our apologies if it left you feeling annoyed!

      To answer your question, yes. We have definitely seen an increase in residential crimes, which is one of the reasons why we wanted to talk about our social media efforts. Not only do we want to bring transparency to what we do, but we also want to better inform and educate the Mountain View community when it comes to crime, crime prevention and criminal apprehension.

      A great resource we have available is the Crime Reports map, which you can find here: http://bit.ly/14jhcRa. This is a really good way to see and read about what’s happening in your neighborhood and Mountain View as a whole.

      We really want to underscore the key to crime prevention and criminal apprehension is a collaborative effort involving you, our community and law enforcement. Social media just helps us further strengthen our efforts!

  2. Ben

    Yes, what is the statistical trend? There’s been a rash of home burglaries in our neighborhood, so anecdotally it feels like crime in MV is on the rise. Can you share some actual data?

  3. Jan Allen

    Hello, is there an explanation of what the symbols represent on the Crime Report map? Also, I noticed a great many symbols (crimes I assume) in Mountain View and none in adjacent communities. I don’t think that’s accurate. Am I only able to see the Crime Report for the community I live in?
    I’m also interested in learning of any recommendations you have to increase safety. For example, I have a dead bolt lock and a door knob lock on my front door. Is that sufficient? Is it safe enough just to lock windows and my patio door with the lock that came with them or is there something more I need?
    Thank you.

    1. Mountain View PD

      Hi Jan — thank you for your comment! If you click on “Incident Layers” you’ll see the icons that correspond to the crime.

      As for surrounding cities, you won’t be able to view those unless you go to that city’s site. We only provide data for Mountain View.

      And we love that you’re asking about how to better secure your home! Take a read here: https://mountainviewpoliceblog.com/2013/06/04/burglaries-how-you-can-help-your-community-mvpd/.

      RESIDENCES
      -Don’t leave blinds open or curtains pulled back. Even if you’re going out for a short trip, don’t tempt burglars by allowing them to see the inside of your home. This also includes any (un)attached structures, like sheds and garages.
      Invest in good locks whether they’re padlocks on a side gate, an exterior structure or good deadbolts for your home, they’re worth the small investment.
      -Take a moment, especially during these warmer days, to secure your windows and doors. Make sure everything is locked up before you leave the home.
      -Leave a radio on. This often deters would-be burglars from breaking-in if they think someone is at home.
      -Cut back bushes and shrubs to eliminate hiding places for burglars.
      -Surveillance cameras are also really helpful and are fairly inexpensive and easy to install. They’re also a great way (interior and exterior cameras) to capture valuable information.

      Please let us know if you have any additional questions; we’re more than happy to answer your questions.

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