by Harijan

I can’t exactly remember the term used to describe this phenomenon, but in Rwanda, there is a social system of crime awareness in the way of loud yelling which propagates through the community until the cause of yelling sound is identified and addressed.

Oakland with the high crime rates can use a real-time reporting system for crimes via use of twitter and other social networking media. The advantage of having real-time information is useful for law enforcement, hospitals, and most importantly citizens.

This is only possible with your help. By updating everyone else on what YOU think may affect  others’ safety, you help the community, public service agencies, and most importantly yourself.

Few suggestions for reporting:

  1. @okalandcrime – just so we know this is an intentional report of safety issue. We intend to use search/filters so it would really help to have @oaklandcrime tags to decrease the number of false search results.
  2. What did you hear, see? – heard gunshot, saw a car crash, felt earthquake, suspicious activity, etc.
  3. Where did this happen? – closest crossroads. lakeside & 2nd.
  4. How many people are involved? Number of people involved. If you are guessing, put a question mark in from of number. Example: #2 hurt, #1 dead, ?1-5 hurt, ?>10 hurt, #>10 hurt, #3 cars.
  5. Optional – How long ago? 1 min, 5 min, 10 min, 1 hr. If no time, twit is assumed real-time.

A practice session taking example of this, let’s make a series of @oaklandcrime twits which may have come from multiple twit users driving down highway:

@oaklandcrime | saw police car chase a blue minivan northbound I-5 near Maxwell. #1 driver #?around 1:30pm.

@oaklandcrime | a blue minivan sideswiped pickup. police chase. northbound I-5 at Hwy 32 overpass. #2 cars around 1:50pm.

@oaklandcrime | vehicle overturned. person lying on grass. police blocked traffic. I5 N, at Adobe road. #1 person. [since no time is reported, this is assumed to be real time.]

Please share twit with your local twitter friends. Let’s make Oakland a safer community.