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How Many Cars Were Stolen in Your Neighborhood?

Researchers at the Foundation for Tackling Vehicle Crime (STAVC) in the Netherlands used public data from the Department of Road Transport (RDW) to map neighborhood car theft rates.
To present the most targeted overview of car theft activity, researchers grouped the number of passenger cars stolen over the past six months by zip code using CARTO's built-in geo-referencing tool.

Challenge

Visualizing city data increases public awareness about the health and saftey of neighborhoods. But what insights can be gained?

Solution

The inner cities of Nijmegen and Utrecht had the most cars stolen, respectively 59 and 50. Why the number of stolen cars in Nijmegen and Utrecht is on the high side remains unknown. Maps like these inspire policymakers to investigate.
This map made other more detailed analyses possible. For instance, it is striking that in the three districts where most cars are stolen, the numbers ballooned in 2014 compared to a year earlier. Further, in Rotterdam and Utrecht most thefts take place in the center of the city, whereas in Amsterdam and The Hague most thefts are confined to the suburbs. These trends raise important public policy and social questions, that, thanks to open-source mapping, can start getting answers.

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