Paul Wellman (file)

Introducing The Independent’s South Coast Crime Map

Interactive Widget Shows the Who, What, Where, and When of Recent Arrests

Monday, April 1, 2013
Article Tools
Print friendly
E-mail story
Tip Us Off
iPod friendly
Share Article

We’ve added a new feature to our website, and here’s a quick explanation of what it’s all about:

Now displayed on the top left corner of our News Page is the South Coast Crime Map, an interactive widget that shows recent arrests throughout Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito, and Carpinteria.

Incidents are noted with place markers that display the name of the arrestee, when and where they were picked up, and their alleged offense. A link within the mini-reports directs you to more details on the arrest. It’s important to note that the people who appear in the listings have only been arrested on suspicion of a crime, and that they haven’t been prosecuted or convicted for any criminal offense.

The data is provided by United Reporting, a subscriber-based online service that offers free arrest logs to newspapers throughout California. Other media subscribers include,, and

Sacramento-based United Reporting, according to its Central California Bureau Chief Ken Paglia, was started in 1995 and covers 500 jurisdictions in the state, hiring a team of 50 freelance reporters to make public records requests for booking reports with local law enforcement agencies, including police departments, sheriff’s departments, and the CHP. Two of their stringers work in the area, one visiting the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department almost every day, and another checking in with the SBPD approximately once a week.

Paglia explained that United Reporting tracks the gamut of legal offenses, from minor citations to felony assaults to murders. They exclude traffic citations, arrests involving minors, and all sealed case files. Their records also note when a Santa Barbara County resident is arrested out of town.

If an arrestee wants their name removed from United Reporting’s log, Paglia went on, they just need to click the “Opt-Out” button on the company’s website and their arrest will be taken down for free. Other companies in different states charge to complete such requests. Out of the thousands of arrests United Reporting processes every day, they only receive 10-15 opt-out requests, Paglia said.

The service to media outlets and citizen subscribers helps “fill in the gaps” of crime reporting, Paglia said, and its massive data sets help law enforcement agencies and communities track trends and areas of concern.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

If you've ever Googled your name and found all kinds of personal information gleaned from your public records (property tax payments, home sales, phone numbers, etc.) you wouldn't be too happy whether or not you've been charged with a crime.

Many sites with your personal info will allow you to "opt out" (if you can find the opt out page at all!) and the process can involve writing many letters, sending in copies of ID, etc. And some sites won't guarantee that you won't show up in their database again if you show up in another public record (e.g. a home sale).

The process should be opt-in, not opt-out.

Here's good info on how to remove personal info from the internet:

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
April 2, 2013 at 8:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I still like Roger Dodger's police report on EdHat better, tho if this map gets around it should help scare off tourists.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 2, 2013 at 10:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I like the map. Hopefully the COPS will stay out of the doughnut shop and pay attention to this map.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
April 2, 2013 at 10:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Most of the arrests seem to radiate from the Drunk Zone.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 2, 2013 at 11:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Umm Bimbo these are arrest reports. The cops are the ones making the arrests. What are you talking about?

MSSB (anonymous profile)
April 2, 2013 at 12:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)


Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 2, 2013 at 12:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nice! Now I can sit here all day and wait for my name to show up on the list!

ElWrongHubbard (ElWrong Hubbard)
April 2, 2013 at 12:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You mean it's not a map of "future crimes?"

I have mixed feeling regarding the obvious privacy issues, even when these apply to miscreants, but I guess it's good to have a source of this without the snarky, trying-too-hard for comedic effect found in some local media or the semi-delusional and always self-referential blather and rants found in another local crime blog.

zappa (anonymous profile)
April 2, 2013 at 12:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why is the Santa Ynez Valley left out? Since the Valley Journal decided to close up shop, our ability to see what our arrests and issues are is NIL.

losolivoslocal (anonymous profile)
April 3, 2013 at 8:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Bimbofail! LOL! What I am alluding to in my ramblings is that this map may show some trends, probabilities, etc.. so that when COPS are scheduling their not the rappers beats, it may help to show the so called hot spots.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
April 3, 2013 at 11 a.m. (Suggest removal)


Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 3, 2013 at 11:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The crime map itself is wildly off. I know who and where one of saturday's drunks was arrested and the map is a mile off!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 22, 2013 at 2:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

event calendar sponsored by: