Crime Wiki

“A Wikipedia is impossible, but here it is.” This was one of many insights from Kevin Kelly’s The Inevitable that has stuck with me. I think he’s saying that with enough people using the right technology, anything is possible. I like that idea and agree that Wikipedia is a perfect example. Against that backdrop, I’m imagining a crime Wikipedia. Anything and everything you might ever want to know about crimes and criminals. I’m tempted to limit writing and editing to the criminals but we should probably let law enforcement types participate.

Wouldn’t you like to read what professional burglars have to say about breaking and entering? There would be page after page on locks alone. Think of all that could be learned about robbing banks, from the really smart bank robbers… and the ones that got caught. Of course there are many crimes that are so horrible and unspeakable that you and I wouldn’t want to read it. But for this thought experiment, in for a penny, in for a pound.

And let’s ignore all of the reasons why a criminal might not want to share his/her best tricks. I’m just imagining a prison full of knowledge and expertise in a Wikipedia format. Who would benefit most? Young crooks-in-training? Or law enforcement?

The question that brought this on was: Would a burglar be less likely to hit a place at the end of a dead-end street? As a civilian, I’d be inclined to say “not enough information” to answer the question. But a thousand experienced burglars would know what those are and could probably come up with a useful answer.