Residents of Scottsdale and Tempe who want to know the locations for recent crimes can go to an info-sharing, map Web site fed by police data.
The RAIDS Online site provides a mapping service for several PDs across the country, including the two east Valley cities.
We spent a few minutes perusing the site today and found it a bit slow to navigate (maybe it was just our computer) but interesting. Lots of vehicle burglaries and thefts near Scottsdale and Camelback roads, or around Arizona State University. A home burglary near Troon Mountain. A case of sexual abuse in south Scottsdale.
The police departments probably don't report all of their cities' crimes to the Web site, but the site gives a flavor what's going on out there. Various icons represent each category of crime, and clicking on them brings up an incident number (in case you want to obtain more details from police), the address and type of crime.
To be truly useful, though, a site like this would need to be as close to real time as police can manage, as accurate as possible, and include a much larger amount of detail. Someday, desktop detectives may be able to develop intelligence about crime trends that even police haven't figured out.