iPhone Application Helps Track Crime

The Spotcrime.com application is described by its developer as a "mobile police blotter"

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    The Spotcrime application will send info about assaults, shootings, and robberies straight to your phone.

    There's an iPhone application for just about everything -- and now there's even one that will give you the lowdown on crime in your neighborhood.

    The Spotcrime.com application costs just $1.99 and is described by its developer as a "mobile police blotter that geo-locates users, scours cop reports, blogs and newspapers for recent criminal activity and then sends out a feed customized to a two mile radius surrounding each registered user's addresses."

    Robert McCrie, a criminal justice expert at John Jay College, says an informed public can be a safer public.

    But there are some major shortfalls.

    McCrie says it can also give a false sense of insecurity. Also, there's a problem with where -- and how -- the application compiles its data.

    Since the NYPD doesn't make crime reports public, the application is forced to rely solely on secondary sources -- like scanners and blogs -- information that can be wrong or inaccurate.