Mapping (digitally) the crime: the dilemma of security, privacy and stigmatization in contemporary cities

City / Country / Region: 
Poland (but also other EU countries and USA in comparative analysis)
2020 - ongoing
Commissioner(s) / Initiator(s): 
Local / Citizens' Knowledge Production as a Tool for Placemaking: 

The geographical presentation of various data on the spatial functioning of society has been present in fields such as social policy and security for almost 200 years. New technologies, in particular computerization and the GIS tool, not only make the mapping of social problems or security threats more accurate, but also allow for the interactive creation of those maps by society and public institutions. However, regarding less or more open access to the collected data, geographical presentation of the crimes implies new dilemmas, such as limitation of privacy, stigmatization or criminalization of migrancy (crimmigration) which can’t be explained by security reasons. Digital mapping of sensitive information has a strong impact on image of particular places and societies. Can stigmatize or praise, low house prices and increase insurance fees, impact on people choices and political decisions. 

Example of polish GIS-based tool: “National Map of Security Threats” implemented by the Police, compared to American, French and British cases

Participatory Processes: 

Relation between safety/security and privacy. How much one can sacrifice for sense of security.  

Safety, security and remembering trauma, as triggers for placemaking and local knowledge production over time:: 

Public safety is regarded as one of main and most valuable goods in present times. Protection of society, done by processes of securitization, is often presented as more important than personal privacy and other citizens rights. Digital crime mapping make the mapping of security threats more accurate and allow for the interactive creation of those maps by society and public institutions. 

Disciplinary / Professional Field: 

Security studies, social studies 

Articles / Publications / Websites: 

M. Szyszka, P. Polko, Interactive Maps of Social Problems and Security Threats Illustrated with an Example of Solutions Currently Used in Upper Silesia, "GIS and Linked Digitisations for Urban Heritage", Special Issue Sustainability