Q. Who should use SecurityGauge®Reports?

A. Local crime rates can impact your company’s exposure to risk, real estate values, insurance rates for your facilities, the cost of security staffing and more. If your decisions regarding risk underwriting, risk management, security staffing, fraud detection, site selection, or investment strategies are impacted by crime hazards, SecurityGauge will help you make informed business decisions with instant, objective data.

Q. From where do you source your data?

A. Much of our data is exclusive or proprietary to SecurityGauge®. We start by collecting raw data from all local law enforcement agencies that have law enforcement responsibility for all (or any part) of a municipality or location (18,000 plus law enforcement agencies).

Once the data is collected in-house, our scientists begin building the address-level crime statistics using advanced predictive modeling based on relationships between hyper-local characteristics and crime incidents for nearly a quarter of a million neighborhoods nationwide. These data are then input to our spatial modeling to produce 10 meter resolution crime risk data for every address in America.

Since we know the numbers of reported crimes that actually occur in each community because of our exclusive approach, we are uniquely able to validate our models against the only comprehensive location-centric crime database with complete national coverage in the U.S.

Q. Can’t I get this data from the FBI’s website?

A. By going to the FBI's website, you can see crime data by individual agency, but not by locality. And you cannot get address-specific data from the FBI at all.

FBI shows agency data, not location data. Remember, there are many local law enforcement agencies that have law enforcement responsibility in any location.

For example, Boston has the Boston Police Dept., the MBTA (transit) police, and sizable police departments at some of the major universities, such as Northeastern University, Boston University, and so forth. In a recent year, the MBTA (transit) police logged some 288 violent crimes within Suffolk County (Suffolk County is almost entirely in Boston), including a murder and 197 armed robberies. The MBTA also logged 266 property crimes including 10 motor vehicle thefts. Boston University police logged 16 violent crimes including 3 forcible rapes, as well as 455 property crimes. UMass Boston logged 146 crimes. Emerson College police logged 45 crimes; and Northeastern University logged an additional 489 crimes.

This is only one city, and only an example of some of the agencies with enforcement responsibility within its borders. But multiple agencies are common for many cities, large and small, all around the nation. When you rely on data sourced only from a municipality’s police department, you’re missing hundreds – even thousands – of crime counts, skewing your analyses and presenting a false picture of true risk that hampers predicting crime risk by address.

So, you can go to the FBI to get reported crimes for individual law enforcement agencies, but not by locality.

As importantly, the crime counts from the FBI are not specific to any address, including not specific to your address. Since crime risk often varies more within cities than between cities, don’t jeopardize your business, customers, or clients on general city-wide, Zip Code, or census tract data that tell you little about the crime risks at your location.

Q. How current is the data in your SecurityGauge®Reports?

A. The crime data featured in SecurityGauge Reports are updated every year, using the most recent final (non-preliminary) raw data. Then we begin the process of analyzing these data and building our proprietary data using our exclusive methodology.

All data featured in the Reports are always the most recent data available. Always.

Q. What does my overall crime risk rating signify?

A. The SecurityGauge®Crime Risk Rating for your site is on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest risk and 5 being the highest risk.

Your overall crime risk rating combines into a single score the 8 major types of crimes tracked by SecurityGauge as they relate to risk at your address: vandalism, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, armed robbery, aggravated assault, homicide, and rape.

Here is what each number signifies:

1 Low: less than half the national average
2 Moderate: half the national average to slightly above the national average
3 Elevated: slightly above national average to twice the national average
4 High: twice the national average to three times the national average
5 Severe: more than 3 times the national average
Q. What does my Crime Risk Summary reveal?

A. Your Crime Risk Summary reveals the crime hazard risks at your site for each of the 8 major types of crime SecurityGauge®tracks. Each of the 8 major types of crime gets its own 1 – 5 risk rating at your address so you can see for which types of crime you are at greatest risk. Your Crime Risk Summary uses the same 1 – 5 scale as your overall Crime Risk Rating.

Q. What’s in a SecurityGauge®Report?

A. Each report delivers information available nowhere else:

  • Crime Risk Rating (overall risk rating for your site)
  • Crime Risk Summary (quantifies risks for each type of crime)
  • Site Report Map (color-coded map of crime risk hot spots)
  • Crime Rate Comparisons (compares your site to the state and nation for rates of: burglary, theft, vehicle theft, homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault)
  • Risk Maps by Crime Type (6 color-coded maps reveal crime risk in your site’s proximity: Property, Violent, Burglary, Theft, Vehicle Theft, & Armed Robbery)
  • Crime Risk Trending Graphs (past, present, and forecast risks at your site for burglary, theft, vehicle theft, homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault)
  • Crime History & Forecast (past and future quantitative risk indices and a color-coded map revealing forecasted crime risks surrounding your site)
  • Perimeter Risk Factors (maps facilities near your site that may shape crime risk)
Q. How do you build your crime risk reports?

A. Until now, accurately quantifying crime risk for an address has been hindered by two prevailing impediments:

  • Incomplete & inaccurate crime counts at the city level due to an agency-centric rather than geographic-centric method of reporting to the Federal Government.
  • The lack of reported crime locations by most law enforcement agencies, making it difficult to determine the actual neighborhoods where most crimes in America occur, and hence, where crime risk is greatest.
  • As a result, crime risk information that businesses currently rely on is often incomplete because it is frequently built only from a single local law enforcement agency’s data in any location, often uses a ‘one model fits all’ approach nationwide that diminishes accuracy, and frequently has limited validation in the real world.
Q. How do you validate your statistics?

A. National Validation = Precision.

Since we know the numbers of reported crimes that actually occurred in each community because of our exclusive crime risk methodology, we are uniquely able to validate our models against the only comprehensive location-centric crime database with complete U.S. coverage.

  • SecurityGauge®Crime Data is validated on more than 8,000 cities nationwide.
    (Others often validate on only a few cities, and results may not be generalizable)
  • SecurityGauge® has proven predictive accuracy that consistently exceeds 90%.
  • The result? Accurate and validated crime risk analytics for any address in the U.S.
Q. What are “Perimeter Risk Factors”?

A. SecurityGauge®Perimeter Risk Factors reveals facilities and amenities in the vicinity of your site that may increase or mitigate crime risk at your location. Arenas, sporting venues, train stations, high schools and other facilities that draw large numbers of people can increase crime risk. Police stations and other facilities may perhaps reduce risk. This information is based on US Government and other public record data and custom mapped for the perimeter of your site.

Q. What do the key Indices mean?

A. Key indices provide greater detail to the Crime Risk Summary. While the Crime Risk Summary uses a 1 – 5 rating to show the relative risk of the 8 major crimes SecurityGauge®tracks for your address, the Key Indices reveal the details at your site for seven major crime types: homicide, rape, armed robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, plus a detailed scoring for total crime, overall violent crime, and overall property crime at your site.

Key Indices are on a 0 – 5,000 scale, with 0 being the lowest and 5,000 being the highest, and indicate the risk of crime at an address compared to an average of 100.

A score of 50 is ½ the average risk, 200 is double the average, and 500 is 5x the average. We provide these key indices to compare the crime risk at your address to the nation, the state, and the county, with 100 being the average for each.

These SecurityGauge Index scores thus provide great detail of relative risk to aid you in benchmarking and comparing your site to the county, the state, and the U.S., and we also use these key indices to show historical risk and future forecasted risk for your address.

Q. How do you predict crime for any address five years in the future?

A. Crime risks change at addresses over time. Sometimes they decrease, and other times they increase. Forecasting crime risk changes is important for security planning, site selection, lease negotiation, and more. SecurityGauge®provides detailed crime risk predictions for 5 years in the future for your address based on changing crime circumstances in the city, nation, and, more importantly, in the perimeter and vicinity of your address. As changes in buildings, population flows, housing, and people near your address are predicted to change, these allow us to predict future crime risks at your site with 10 meter resolution. We don’t just predict, we provide quantitative indices for all major crime times, and even generate a forecast crime risk map for your site’s vicinity so you can see the detailed pattern of forecasted crime risk near your facility.

Q. What is a Geocoder?

A. Geocoders are computer-implemented tools to interpret the location of an address as a specific point location on the surface of the earth. To do so, typically a geocoder takes the address input to it and converts the address into a geographic latitude/longitude coordinate.

SecurityGauge®provides crime risk for geographic latitude/longitude coordinates. If you enter an address or place name for a SecurityGauge report query, SecurityGauge uses a 3rd party Geocoder to convert that address or place name into a latitude/longitude coordinate. No Geocoder is 100% perfect and often the structure and accuracy of the address provided to the geocoder will affect the accuracy of the latitude/longitude output by the geocoder. As such, Location, Inc. makes no warranty as to the accuracy of the geocoded location and does not interpret or alter the geocoder accuracy score in any way.

Prior to generating a report, SecurityGauge provides a location confirmation window which includes details of the Geocoder's output and a map for the user to visually verify the geocoded location. If it is not the correct location, the user can edit the address and try again. In order to ensure accurate crime risk data is provided in your requested report, it is critical that you confirm the accuracy of the geocoded location before clicking "MAP THIS LOCATION."

With the SecurityGauge API, since there is no map provided to confirm the accuracy of the location, the Geocoder’s confidence output is returned via the API to the user along with the crime risk data. The user can programmatically or manually decide whether the Geocoder accuracy is sufficient to use the crime risk data returned. All SecurityGauge reports and API responses include the digital latitude/longitude identified by the Geocoder.

If the geocoder accuracy score is not satisfactory for a particular address, a user can always instead enter a latitude/longitude for the location, thereby assuring the point location will exactly match the input latitude/longitude.

Q. How does SecurityGauge®compare with competition?

They don't. SecurityGauge is built from new technologies which incorporate Big Data that is different in both spatial resolution and predictive abilities, and the SecurityGauge reports themselves offer vastly different content and advantages to businesses. See our side-by-side feature comparison of how SecurityGauge® compares to competition.

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