back to article Online crime maps go live

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 …


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  1. Christoph

    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.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    looking at London...

    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...

  3. Rob
    Thumb Up

    Well done El Reg

    I've just lambasted for piss poor reporting/article writing on the same story. Their article makes you think you'll get the same loverly graphical overlay that the Met offers.

  4. Ian Ferguson

    List of links?

    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 doesn't mention the existence of such a thing.

  5. Philip the Duck

    Hampshire & Wight?

    Well I'm buggered if I can find the Hamshire & Isle of Wight map - anyone got a link?

  6. Tom Smith Silver badge


    After a good five minutes of looking I finally found Avon & Somerset's statistics here:

    Although it's only separated into 6 different areas, so theres no looking up which bits of Bristol are nicest/nastiest.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Community perspective?

    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

  8. Liam Pennington


    Just been on the (awfully laid out and terrbily slow) Lancashire Constab. web site, can't find anything there. My postcode brings up a local community group meeting minutes from 2006, though....=/

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    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?

  10. Havin_it

    @AC re:looking at London...

    "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?)

  11. Vaughan

    @AC Posted Tuesday 6th January 2009 15:15 GMT

    I haven't seen the Met map but if everywhere is (mean) average then nothing can be below it. If any areas are above average then I'd agree it looks a bit fishy.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: 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."

    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.

  13. Phil Cooke
    Black Helicopters

    N. Yorks mapping...

    Just took a look at my area, which flags as average for everything except Anti-Social behaviour which is flagged high.....with exactly 0 cases reported in the stats they show! How the hell can that be high compared to the rest of North Yorkshire?!?!?!?

  14. Ian Ferguson

    Oh here's Hampshire

    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.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not Scotland

    Where house prices are reputedly still rising. And where, one wonders, is the money coming from?

  16. George Forth


    Would it have been too hard for the Home Office to develop one system that all the forces could use instead of each force having to pay to develop its own system. Another lump of tax money spent with piss-poor efficiency!

  17. Anonymous Coward


    Thats where bixton is.

  18. David Shepherd

    @And the obvious effect of this is

    but, if you're not intending on selling and want to reduce the "nice area tax" part of the council tax revaluation then report away!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Not Scotland

    Having just sold a house in Scotland, I can assure you prices haven't been rising for some time.

    They're falling more slowly than in England is all..

    Re: London averages, if you zoom right in some wards come up blue.

  20. Steve Walker


    For the Thames valley it is located here And as I suspected in my town I live in the shit part :-(

    Just what you need when selling your house lol!

  21. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Soon to be added...

    People caught looking for hookers, photographing stuff, looking at children, owning a knife or handling extreme porn.

  22. Dan White

    @Tom Smith

    If you zoom in on the Google map of Bristol, eventually you'll see it broken down by area.

    You may be particularly stunned to see that the highest rates are in St. Pauls, Southville, Eastgate and Filton.... or perhaps you won't :-)

  23. Richard

    Re: Uniformity

    "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".

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Evil Overlord (well, you wanted a title...)

    According to 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.

  25. EvilGav

    So . . .

    . . . the police use the stats/maps to adequately place resources . . .

    Hmmm, if I was a crim, i'd check where they were most likely to be and, you know, burglarise somewhere they wont be.

    I'm guessing terrorists (sic) could do the same.

    HM Gov'ment and HM Police, one big pile of fail.

  26. Chronos

    North Wales

    Is down for maintenance already. Is EDS involved or has Brunstrom set fire to the headquarters after climbing through a window again? :o) (Honestly, it really does link you to an error page from the main site

    Fire, just because...

  27. Nat Pryce

    The Met have offered this service for years.

    The Met have offered this service for years, and in machine-readable formats.

  28. Anthony

    OS data on Google Maps

    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?

  29. Andy Bright
    Thumb Up

    We have them here too

    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.

  30. blue

    Added Value Reverse Engineering?

    So can you use this service to find the best places for hookers (non-pimped, obviously) or weed?

  31. Linbox


    Apart from being impossible to find - Extensive Googling returned nothing and the HantsPlod website was equally useless - the only way of finding the data was from an earlier posting here on El.Reg by Ian Ferguson.

    And the map itself?

    As much use as Anne Franks drum kit.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I've tried this for Manchester and it's just crap. I was expecting a colour coded map where the colour represents the number of crimes, and you'd be able to select the type of crime.

    Nothing of the sort. The way the data is presented makes it hard to use.

  33. RW

    @ Simon Ward

    "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.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Web skillz

    I wonder which clown is putting the GMP web site together. Some of the coppers' mug-shots are 4 megapixel, <2MB images scaled to 108 × 144. For fuxsake...

  35. Allan Dyer
    IT Angle

    @Phil Cooke - 0 Anti-Social Behaviour is High

    Because all the other Tykes are exceptionally polite and social, scoring negative. Your use of a mild epithet, "hell" has raised your area's score to zero.

    You've only got yourself to blame.

  36. Dave
    Black Helicopters

    West Midlands Plod

    Seem to be quite on the ball with this, lots of clicking required, but it appears to work, and was found from the front page quite easily

  37. Liam Pennington


    No joy from the Lancashire plod website. Seems to take me on the proverbial goose chase around outdated minutes and PACT meeting notices.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Crime Galore

    Well, either someone is not counting right or theres a mayor problems in my town. Looking at my Beds, Arlessey maps, it shows an increase of 100% in both Robbery and 100% Violent Crimes compared to last year.

    nice one, now im really scared.

  39. TheThing
    Thumb Up


    ...on the Avon and Somerset version you get a little warning saying "Internet Explorer may perform slowly with crime statistic, it is recommended that you Firefox or Chrome.

  40. Graham Smith
    Thumb Up

    Lincolnshire Police crime maps

    Lincolnshire Police's website helpfully includes not only a link to its own crime maps (, but also links to crime maps for neighbouring forces.

  41. hikaricore


    How is anti-social behavior a crime?

  42. Anonymous Coward


    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...


    Direct Links to Crime Maps

    Direct Links to Crime Maps where available:

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