And the obvious effect of this is
If you don't want your house price to drop even further, don't report burglaries and other crimes in your area.
All 43 police forces across England and Wales are now offering online crime maps showing offences broken down by area. The Metropolitan Police began offering such a service in beta in August which went down to ward level - about every 600 households. Police have used mapped crime information internally for some time when …
When looking at the Met map, it strikes me that there is no part of London that is 'below average' or 'low' crime-rated. Surely there must be somoe, otherwise, how do you compute the average.. Starts to sound very much like the 'be afraid, very afraid' thread-level on the DHS website, doesn't it?
AC because you never know...
Has anyone found a list of all 43 links? The Home Office press release is next to useless as it doesn't link to a single one. There doesn't seem to be any central website for the initiative. I've been trying to find the crime maps for Hampshire & Isle of Wight but their website www.hampshire.police.uk doesn't mention the existence of such a thing.
provided your community accurately lines up with the reporting boundaries. having viewed my local forces website I see that certain areas have markedly above average crime numbers but I am concerned that the area affected includes a large stretch of open water and marshland and the beach and inshore waters out beyond the end of the pier.*
I suspect pirates must be operating in these areas and I am taking appropriate precautions.
*that's Breydon Water and Great Yarmouth beach respectively
So they're all using different software to show the same thing? Well, at least it makes it harder to compare forces.
The Greater Manchester one (of particular interest to me at least) is clearly the product of people with certications. You fire it up, it takes a good minute to load up a fist full of XML data into a flash app from which it produces 2 graphs and a pie chart. Going through a few police areas takes ages as you hit back wait for the main page to load (they've broken caching somehow) then click on the sub-division and wait again. Presumably the thought of producing that on the server as an image on a once a day (month?) job didn't cross their minds.
There's basic info missing as well, like is a car jacking (a la mode in Rochdale, I hear) a "theft of a motor vehicle" or "violence against the person"?
I especially appreciate the pointless functionality left over from the toolkit they used, you can drag and drop the keys to the graphs... I personally chose to hide the keys to both graphs behind the pie chart.
Again, looking at Rochdale (I like to use big numbers) I see that all reported crime for the current month totals 1811, yet adding up the numbers for the 3 month average Oct to Dec 2008 I get 696. What's the lost crime category?
It's me isn't it? I'm sure it's me, if I say it's them I'll get tased won't I?
"Surely there must be somoe [sic], otherwise, how do you compute the average.."
Uhhhm, could it be that it's a, y'know, national average? There are some quite nice places to live beyond the Watford Gap, honest. (Well, beyond Falkirk at least...)
(Why do I fear that this assumption is about to be contradicted and leave me with egg/face interface?)
"If you don't want your house price to drop even further, don't report burglaries and other crimes in your area."
Round here, most people just call the police to get a crime number for insurance purposes knowing full well that unless an easy target is involved, such as a motorist or some kid tagging a wall, the chance of getting anything done is somewhere on the far size of nil.
Of course, it doesn't help that the definition of what constitutes a crime is in a seemingly constant state of flux.
Not mentioned at all on Hampshire Police's website. Ho-hum.
Re: Well done El Reg, the police forces have based their data on Ordnance Survey maps, and as such would be breaking their license by publishing it on some fancy Google mashup or the like. Apparently the Met are on shaky ground, legally.
"Would it have been too hard for the Home Office...?"
This IS the Home Office involved, so yes. The amazing bit is that the various police forces have managed to get prima facie working systems. Had the Home Office been directly involved we'd have had neither "working" or indeed "system".
According to http://northants.crimemapper.co.uk/ I live in a relatively high-crime area, and yet our house insurance is rock bottom because we actually live on a low-crime street.
It seems the police site for northants is based on wards, and that doesn't work because I live in a ward that contains the town centre. Our street is only one row of houses away from town-centre hotspots, and the the average crime rate is dragged way up by all the trouble caused by boozed up "publican's friends", and boy racers being twonks in the local car park. But because we're insulated, and not on a rat-run, we get nothing. The only crime we've had is the alleged BNP member's house up the road being egged.
Is down for maintenance already. Is EDS involved or has Brunstrom set fire to the headquarters after climbing through a window again? :o)
http://www.north-wales.police.uk/nwpv2/en/error.htm (Honestly, it really does link you to an error page from the main site http://www.north-wales.police.uk/nwpv2/en/home.asp)
Fire, just because...
The Met's map is of particular interest to people mapping things in the UK with Google maps: the Met are clearly displaying area boundaries that are based on Ordnance Survey data, and this currently falls foul of the combined OS and Google Maps API licences (OS claim Crown Copyright on all derived data, Google requires rights to the data that OS refuse to give it).
Will the OS sue the Met before the government's threatened changes to OS derived data rules in the next budget?
I was immensely gratified to find out we have these in the US already, and besides the boring stuff like "I wonder why this house is so cheap in this brand new city I've never lived in before, could it be that it's in a bad area and I should hesitate to buy it?" there are distinct advantages to knowing what sorts of crimes are most predominant in your various neighbourhoods.
For example, feel like hiring a hooker? No problem, just check out the crime map and you can see that prostitution is rife in these areas. Fancy some pot or maybe some meth amphetamine? I see from my menu, err I mean map, that the area north of the river is the best place to score.
So you see, there are advantages to knowing what sorts of crimes are committed in which areas and how frequently.
"the definition of what constitutes a crime is in a seemingly constant state of flux."
My understanding is that under the benign leadership of She-who-shall-not-be-named, HM Gov are going to trash all existing criminal legislation and replace it with a new, all-encompassing Criminal Act: "Sec 1. Everything you do is a crime. Sec. 2. Citizens are required to maintain a log of all crimes they commit and provide it to law enforcement officers, council snoops, and assorted busybodies whenever demanded."
N.B. "Demanded", not "requested." If it's going to be a jack-booted police state, let's make sure there are hobnails involved.
So I went to my local police map, typed in my postcode, got a naff map and some figures that said some types of crime had gone up and some have gone down, and then I was filled with a feeling that I couldn't quite describe. Was it apathy; was it disinterest; was it antipathy? I wasn't sure quite what I was feeling so I checked the press release. Empowerment - that's it, I'm empowered now. I feel so empowered I think my head is going to explode. I feel like I'm in a dilbert cartoon. I think I'll have to go and lie down for a bit I'm until the empowered-ness wears off.
Mines the cloak of empowerability...