Monthly Crime Reporting in Vancouver Neighbourhoods, 2002 - 2010

The good news is that over the past 8 1/2 years while monthly reporting of some types of crimes have remained relatively stable, many have been on the decline.


Non-Fatal Traffic Accidents - declining since February 2006
Motor Vehicle Theft - declining since October 2007
Break and Enters - declining since February 2008
Prostitution - declining since March 2009
Offensive Weapons - declining slightly since September 2009
Thefts over/under $5,000 - declining since September 2007, but appear to be on the rise since April 2010

Check out your neighbourhood.
Data Source:  VPD crime data

This data is available on the VPD site in pdf format.  It took a while, but I've pulled all the monthly crime reports from January 2002 to August 2010, copied out the data, imported it into a database, cleaned it (a lot of blank spaces to be removed), linked it to neighbourhood postal and geographical fields and finally transformed it into proper column data for analysis (variables: Date, Neighbourhood, Crime, Value, Postal Code, Latitude, Longitude).

I don't want to sound cocky, but Learning Tableau Public has been a breeze. If you have ever done dashboard reporting in Excel or some other BI tool, you will find this program delightful. While Excel can do amazing things, it takes some time and work to get a properly functioning dashboard up and ready for anything your users may try and do with it (or to it). Tableau's instructions were simple and visual. Any time I was stumped, I found my answers in the user forums.  I have yet to do advanced analysis, but so far I've found the program incredibly intuitive and look forward to producing more complex visuals in the future. My main limitation is finding appropriate data and in particular, social data that is readily usable and comparable.

I had hoped to include comparable data for other districts (Surrey, Burnaby, West and North Vancouver), but the data is either unavailable or as in the case of Surrey available in quarterly units for different crime categories.  Also, the Surrey pdf reports were password protected and I wasn't about to manually enter the data. Too much room for error.  If you're interested, here's some links to other local crime reporting.