Meridian Pulls Out of Crime Reports Website

Meridian, Miss. Crimereports.com had listed all 911 calls that police receive in the city of Meridian. Now the city has decided not to use it anymore even as it's promising more transparency about when and where crime is happening in Meridian.

Newscenter 11 covered the website a week ago as a source for information after Police Chief James Lee and Mayor Percy Bland enacted a policy to provide fewer details about crimes.

The website now shows only registered sex offenders living in the city.

Since it lists all 911 calls, the department says the amount of crime listed on the website is misleading.

"The vast majority turn out to be only a report of a suspicious activity or some other false alarm, so the actual figures that were being reported by Crime Reports was substantially out of line with what the real numbers are," said city attorney Michael Goggans.

But Goggans claims the benefits go beyond that.

"Another important note is that the city has been paying to provide this unnecessary and inaccurate information to Crime Reports," Goggans said.

Goggans says keeping it in place actually gave criminals an advantage over police, because it was listed in real time.

"Which means that if you're engaged in criminal activity, say you're burglarizing a house, if you have the app, you know immediately that the police are being called," said Goggans. "You're going to leave and evade arrest."

The MPD says it is now returning to its previous method of putting crime information in media releases. The city says that provides more accurate information to the public.

Though you cannot get that information from crimereports.com anymore, WTOK does still share the MPD's incident and arrest reports. Click on the drop-down menu under News and click Arrest Reports. Incident information is shown below the arrests.

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