While it is acceptable to pass the website link on to others in your community, you will not share the information found on the website with others other than with members of the Edmonton Police Service or other law enforcement agencies; and
You will only use this website and the information in it so you can inform yourself of, and participate in, this community policing initiative;
This is problematic because it effectively means that you can’t do anything with the data that EPS has now made available. You can look at it using their site, but you can’t then blog about that data, or add it to a PowerPoint presentation.
I emailed a request for clarification and received a response from Amit Sansanwal, Criminal Statistics Coordinator at EPS. I asked for and was granted permission (by their legal department) to publish his response:
The EPS views the Neighbourhood Crime Mapping website as a valuable addition to our community policing initiative.
The EPS, however, is of the view that this tool can only be effective and achieve its community policing objectives if people seeking the information visit the Neighbourhood Crime Mapping website directly themselves.
By visiting the website, hopeful participants in this EPS community policing initiative can learn about what kind of information is available to them (e.g. crime prevention and partnership programs) and how it fits within this program.
We appreciate your interest in this program and hope that you tell others about the existence of the Neighbourhood Crime Mapping website.
In a later email, Amit pointed out that the current preferred way to get EPS statistics is through Statistics Canada.
The crux of their position, if I understand it correctly, is that they don’t want people looking for crime statistics to come across an inaccurate or malicious source. That seems reasonable. The problem is that such a position assumes people are actively seeking the information. By opening up access to the data and allowing others to make use of it, they can potentially reach far more Edmontonians, not to mention the benefits that could come from mashups or other data visualizations. Furthermore, it seems as though they just want to force people to use the Crime Mapping site so that they can promote additional programs to users.