New Hampshire residents will soon have an easier way to view arrest data, after the Department of Safety entered into a contract to improve its crime statistics website.
Approved by the Executive Council Aug. 17, the contract gives $296,700 to Beyond 20/20, the data company that designed the current website. The money will be spent on updating the site to provide “a more efficient and effective manner” to report crime statistics, the contract states.
New Hampshire’s site pulls data from the “Uniform Crime Report,” a program run by the FBI that collects arrest reports from local agencies and organizes them. In New Hampshire, the report draws on data from 154 law enforcement agencies at the local, county and state levels.
Information collected includes the number of arrests across the state, the towns and cities in which those arrests occurred, and the demographics of those arrests, such as age, race and gender. It also includes statistics showing the number of victims for each particular offense and their geographic distribution, as well as data on drug arrests and seizures, alleged offenses involving firearms and alleged property crimes.
Currently, those reports are publicly available on the NH Department of Safety website. They are also shared with law enforcement agencies through a separate portal. But that statistics website can be difficult to navigate, with a hard-to-read interface of folders and sub-folders containing each report of information.
The contract will help display those statistics in a more user-friendly way, and it will help modernize the site, said Tyler Dumont, the public information officer for the Department of Safety. The contract stipulates that the data be arranged into three themes: drug and DUI-related arrests, property crime arrests, and violent crime arrests.
Improving the crime statistics website was a recommendation of the Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community and Transparency (LEACT), a statewide panel of stakeholders and advocates that met in 2020 to discuss police reform in New Hampshire following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
Dumont said the upgraded website would help with that recommendation.
“Members of the commission have discussed a statewide desire to make data on arrests and race more easily accessible to the public,” Dumont said. “Commissioner Quinn, who is a member of the LEACT commission, believes these website enhancements will accomplish that.”