back to article Home Office crime maps go to street-level detail

The Home Office has announced the rollout of a new online crime-map service for England and Wales that ministers describe as "more comprehensive than any other scheme" in the world. The new mapping service offers crimes arranged by street, rather than merely by ward or subdistrict as before. Screengrab of the Home Office crime …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    ...a burglary at a remote building/farmhouse will be flagged as being "near".

    No privacy breach at all then...

  2. Robert E A Harvey

    out of town

    street-level mapping may preserve anonymity in metropolitan areas, but what about farming areas?

    If you live in Guthram Gowt, and it says 1 violent crime (it doesn't today) then the equation is simple. Either you were beating your wife or the bloke over the road was. If it wasn't you, then he has lost anonymity.

    Another instance of the people who run this country thinking that UK == London.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    At last...

    ... A tool to allow criminals to select the areas most worth committing crime in,

    It uses Google Maps (so that's why the Govt is cosying up to them and allows them to get away with their tax avoidance through Ireland).

    Unfortunately, I'm running a Microsoft OS which manages to prevent me from succesfully accessing Google Maps from *any* of the browsers on my PC.

    1. GrahamS


      Are you using a different Microsoft OS on your PC than the rest of the world?

      1. Mike Shepherd


        There are (since you don't seem to be aware of it), several versions of Windows.

        The server versions often don't support widely-used programs.

        And before you complain that people shouldn't be running a browser on a server, consider that there are reasons to run Windows Server other than as a server. You just haven't met them.

        1. Renato

          Re: Servers

          I use Windows 2008 R2 on my personal laptop and I can assure you it runs widely-used programs without a hitch. And rare programs too.

          Even Steam and other gaming platforms.

          Usually what happens is that the installer check the Windows version and refuses to install, so you have to hack the installer. No big deal. That was a bigger problem on Windows 2003 which had a different kernel version from XP, but now Windows Servers use the same kernel as the Windows "Clients".

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Google and Tax Avoidance

        Well Mr GrahamS, where do you think that Microsoft has its European HQ then?

        Lo and behold, it is The Republic of Ireland.

        Where do you think their US HQ is for Tax purposes?


        Whgat state has 0% Corporate Income Tax rate?

        That same Nevada.

        I'm not saying that Google is all goody two shoes but many US companies use the ROI as their base simply because of Tax issues. Adobe is another one that springs to mind.

  4. JaitcH

    Did anyone even consider the plight of the property owners?

    I imagine there will be many property owners upset at the information displayed as it forces the value of their properties yet lower, as if the banking industry hadn't done enough.

    The insurers will love it though, as they will use it, no doubt, to force their premiums further skyward.

    Criminals will be able to pick 'quiet' spots where Plod doesn't expect trouble so their escape is almost guranteed.

    A winner all round?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "forces the value of their properties yet lower"

      I love it when the property owning classes complain about that. They got their property while it was dirt cheap and now no one should ever be allowed to have cheap property ever again because it would make them feel a little bit sad!

      Where did I put my violin...

      Don't worry you'll be dead soon and then I'll squat in your house for free. Swings and roundabouts.

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        They got their property while it was dirt cheap

        Psychic and an anonymous coward. Skill!

      2. Anonymous Coward

        I'll squat in your house for free. Swings and roundabouts....

        Ahh the moemories......watching the freeloader fly out of the 1st floor window was worth the cost of the broken glass.

        Officer? I went into my house and this man attacked me and in the struggle he went flying....

        Roundabouts and slides....

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "property owning classes"

        Like people who've worked hard for their 2-bed terraces? Property speculators, developers and landlords without social conscience may be deserving of abuse, but why others? Sounds like you want something for nothing, just don't try to kid yourself you're part of an "alternative society" because you can't be bothered to contribute to this one but are happy to leech off it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Sounds like you want something for nothing"

          These days every time someone asks for "something they could reasonably afford in a lifetime of hard work" they are accused of wanting "something for nothing".

          I guess the squatting joke really hit a nerve with some of you. But squatting is a real problem caused at least partly by a lack of affordable housing. And what is being done about it? Fuck all of any value.

          It's easier to stick your head in the sand and assume that the people complaining about affordable housing are just a bunch of vagrant unemployed drug addicts and losers who would never contribute to the economy anyway, not even by accident. And every one of them drives a Lamborghini that they got by cheating the benefits system. It has to be true if it's in the Daily Mail.

          When the reality is that they're working the shitty dregs of the employment market for employers who are going to make damn sure that they squeeze every last penny and fire anyone who complains. No doubt the company they work for doesn't pay tax either but there's always plenty of money left over for executive bonuses.

          I guess it’s just “one of those things”. One of those things that no one is going to bother doing anything about because they'd sooner die than upset the applecart.

    2. Anon E Mus

      Oooh such plight

      The property owners got places to live. The value of said places becoming less inflated is absolutely no bad thing. What is the problem supposed to be?

    3. chubbymike
      Thumb Down

      Re: JaitcH

      Iinsurers have already it used it to refuse someone car insurance as there was a car theft on his street in December. He was on the local radio this morning speaking about it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I can't really see how this is useful.

    Just spent 5 minutes checking out the crime where I live in a large town south of London.

    Surprise surprise there is lots of crime (or antisocial behaviour at least, represent). Well that was a useful insight not.

    1. NightFox

      How many more years before you finally stop mandating titles?

      A couple of ways spring to mind. Moving house? Crime levels in the local area are going to be of interest to most people I would have thought. Secondly, this could prove a useful insight to the people who moan about how the police never do anything about the high levels of crime in their locale when in fact nobody actually bothers reporting the crime in the first place - at least this will give an indication of that.

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Or alternatively ...

        ... it will add an extra level of doubt over whether to call the police about a crime - "How will this affect my house price?". Unintended consequence?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't say I care that much ...

    ... it isn't exactly Los Angeles round here. It might be interesting, mind, to compare what the police have recorded vs what people know - it would show how seriously they take crime reports.

  7. frank ly

    A website by any other name....

    Shouldn't it be called ''?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    death to all titles

    The journalists might have bothered to see if the real thing worked, it's a fine example of government IT inaction.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: death to all titles

      It was working, and then it broke, remarkably, when lots of people went to look at it. Of course this has never happened before.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: death to all titles

        "It was working, and then it broke, remarkably, when lots of people went to look at it. Of course this has never happened before."

        Well quite, Sarah. The first few launch overload fails can be excused.

        But we live in a brave new world, where this marvellous Cloud technology is supposed to make such scaling issues a thing of the past. After all, if the Cloud can't solve this, what can it do?

        So the launch fail is actually of interest in of itself: what launch planning did they make (if any)? Are they using a scalable server architecture, or pragmatically not caring about the launch, just so long as it works when the initial fuss had died down?

      2. Elmer Phud

        the pont of it is?

        Sod all this 'working, not working' and 'it will affect property prices' -- couldn't they have done something better with the money than piss it way on what appears to be just a distraction from reality.

      3. Kevin Bailey

        Shock news - very busy sites *can* work OK

        The front page works cos it's being served up from Amazon's systems.

        But anything behind it fails as it's on toyware.

        So - if the whole site was - let me see - running on Amazon cloudy stuff - it would be working better.

    2. GrahamS


      Attempt One: "There has been a problem and we are looking into it."

      Fair enough, launch day overload.

      Attempt Two: "Sorry, we couldn't find a policing area that matched your search."

      Oh dear.

      1. Kay Burley ate my hamster

        "Sorry, we couldn't find a policing area that matched your search."

        I also got the message above. Living in Hackney I could very well believe this.

        Loved the Tory on R4Today this morning, arguing that the site is working and the callers to the show were wrong. :D

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Enter your postcode, town, village or street into the search box below,

      Camden, London WC1

      Sorry, we couldn't find a policing area that matched your search.

  9. Greg J Preece

    We all know who's really excited

    Insurance groups! Another set of excuses to ramp your premiums to ridiculous levels.

    1. MinionZero

      @Insurance groups

      In this brave new world of ubiquitous information access, this kind of problem with groups seeking to exploit ever more information is inevitable. As they say, "Knowledge Is Power" and so everyone who wishes to manipulate others for their own gain, will exploit more knowledge to force people to do what they want.

      The answer is to push back. Don't just accept what the insurance agents try to say, haggle with them and if they don't want to give in, then tell them to f*#k off! ... its the meek sheep in this world that allow the manipulators in society to get ever more powerful. If everyone told them no, they would be finished.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    ... and then it died...

    Hmm. Seems to be broken, maybe someone stole the server?

  11. JonW

    Standard major "Launch" of a Gov website

    Step 1 : Spend a fortune on a Web2.x thingamy

    Step 2 : Realise you've blown the budget

    Step 3 : Rent a low-end VPS from a kiddy host

    Step 4: Splash all over the media with a launch date

    Step 5 : Leave your audience looking at "Loading" icons or white pages

    Step 6 : Audience go away and may come back in a few months if you're lucky

    Step 7 : Pats on the back and Martinis all round


    1. Kevin Bailey

      Agreed... more detail

      Step 1a

      Get sold MS system by salesmen in Mercs.

      Step 1b

      Develop system and do no load testing at all.

      Step 1c

      Think that just by getting the front page served up by Amazon cloud stuff that the site will be able to handle the load.

      £300k for a system which is deeply flawed - makes me want to weep. This happens again and again and again and again - what is the answer?

      1. Anonymous Coward


        I'd have done it for a third of that, and it probably would have worked!

        where do we apply for government contracts ......

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Is it me...

    ...or has this died already?

  13. Adrian Midgley 1

    No bad thing, linkage onward to press and court reports?

    it may become interesting when there is further linkage.

  14. caffeine addict

    Well now, that's a surprise...

    it's slow as hell and keeps returning half loaded pages.

    Has there ever been a gov IT project that hasn't fallen over on its first day?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Died already

    No surprise there then!

  16. Anonymous Coward


    The radio was reporting it as being unable to cope with the demand this morning.

  17. Desktop Mobile
    Thumb Down

    Passing the buck & where's the choice

    We don't want to be told how bad our streets & schools are in the name of choice just for the government of the day attempt to make them all pretty much equal in terms of quality & safety (towards the top end of the quality scale that is).

    For them to print tables & point the finger and Heads of School / Police etc is just passing the buck.

    Plus unless you have the cash to move area or school there is no choice just a depressing feeling of impotence for those who have to put up with the status quo

    Just take responsibility & do something about it

  18. YP

    well no police state here

    Apparently despite living a mile from the police station, and a couple of miles form an RAF base, it couldn't find a policing area matching my post code! Sort of explains why I have never seen any bobbies on the beat round here. Where am I? West London!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Money well spent.. not

    I don't usually post, but this really irritates me. When everyone is trying to save money they spend £300,000 on a website which doesn't even work and keeps responding with "Website error". This data might have been available before, but making it so easily accessible is going to have a negative effect on house prices.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      What is wrong with a negative effect on house prices?

      If I'm going to move into an area with a high crime rate I want to know about it, and I want the price of the house discounted accordingly - it's no different to knowing whether the area suffers from subsidence or whether there's a pending planning application to build a supermarket next door.

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        The thing is ...

        ... what does "nearby" mean? I can think of several areas where I live where there is a less salubrious area next to a very nice one. The first may have high crime rates (usually drugs related), whereas the second doesn't have much a problem at at all.

        Alternatively, I can think of an area where there were a couple of very nasty domestic incidents - no-one else was harmed, or likely to be. Should they affect the insurance premiums and house prices for all those "nearby"?

        We should be finding a way to reduce house prices, but I'm not sure this is a good way to do it.

  20. Ben Bawden

    Another excellent public sector IT system

    No matter what I enter - my town, street address, postcode - it tells me it cannot find a matching area.

    Doesn't anyone know how to do testing in public sector IT?

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Broken Already!?

    Just tried to look up mine and my parents streets (50 miles apart) and get the same error:

    Website error

    There has been an error with the website and we're currently looking into it.

    Another example of a failed Gov IT Website - maybe??

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Site not working

    In a cloud of "excitement" I went to the police,uk website but found I couldn't retrieve any results.The home page comes up, I entered my post code and clicked on search, but get nothing back - no error message or apparent response. . Tried it using both IE and Chrome, and on my iPhone in case of a network issue.

    Perhaps it's down due to customer demand!

  23. GrahamT

    Hello, Hello, Hello, what's goin' on here, then

    The preview might work as advertised, but the live site doesn't. Under IE8 it is a slow as a three legged police dog, and returns a blank screen. With Firefox it is also quite slow but occassionally returns an error that it "Can't find a policing district for this area". Given that I live in Theresa May's constituency, I find that unlikely.

  24. ttuk

    a-z 1-9

    No doubt others have got here first

    1) Site doesn't work on launch day, no doubt due to huge amount of press coverage and high demand..

    2)) Govt keeps talking, recession, cuts, etc. etc. then spends 300k on project that is very much a gimmick and non essential. (and can't handle demand on launch day)

    3) Effect of house prices.. may discourage reporting of minor crimes by homeowners.

    that is all

  25. Willington

    Anarchy in the UK

    When I got past the internal server errors and the blank screens that claimed to be "done" I finally got: "Sorry, we couldn't find a policing area that matched your search."

    "Deputy Chief Constable Neil Rhodes, speaking for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said the service would "help to build community involvement in policing"."

    I see what Neil Rhodes means, I guess the community needs to police itself as no other bugger seems to be doing it.

  26. Danny 14


    checked it and it worked. At least it hasnt fallen over with all the criminals looking for under "serviced" areas.

  27. Nick Kew

    Good news

    Now I can move house with a little more peace of mind. Well, if the site worked ...

    Or perhaps, when I see £affordable-house advertised, I can see exactly why it's priced low, and not think I'm missing a great bargain. 'Cos an ex-council estate *without* huge crime could start to become really desirable!

    As always, what matters is relative levels.

  28. mr-tom


    It's either broken, or something very wrong has happened in my area.

    I put in my postcode. It recognised it, added the city and county of its own accord and then gave me the comforting message:

    "Sorry, we couldn't find a policing area that matched your search"

    Oh well, that's a few hundred off my council tax bill, then. Just need to invest in a baseball bat and a crossbow.

    On a related note, I thought they were supposed to be doing less of this sort of thing, not more - what with it being a recession and all that...

  29. Anonymous Coward



    $ whois

    Error for "".

    This domain cannot be registered because it contravenes the Nominet UK naming rules. The reason is:

    the domain name contains too few parts.

    WHOIS lookup made at 08:57:51 01-Feb-2011


    This WHOIS information is provided for free by Nominet UK the central registry for .uk domain names.


    $ whois

    This TLD has no whois server.

    1. djack


      It is real and Nominet has no control or responsibility for In fact they only directly control a minority of .uk domains.

      Others that I can think of off the top of my head :,,, - I'm sure that there are others.

      That they don't have a whois server or your whois client can't find it if there is one is another matter.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        It's "Nominet UK the central registry for .uk domain names.", except when it isn't.

        Thanks for explaining djack.

      2. Adrian Challinor
        Paris Hilton

        Looser - must try harder

        $ nslookup



        Non-authoritative answer: canonical name =



        $ whois


        inetnum: -

        netname: AMAZON-EU-AWS

        descr: Amazon Web Services, Elastic Compute Cloud, EC2, EU

        remarks: The activity you have detected originates from a

        dynamic hosting environment.


        $ ping

        PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.


        --- ping statistics ---

        2 packets transmitted, 0 received, 100% packet loss, time 1003ms

        So, it is registered on the Amazon Elastic Cloud and hosted in Rack Space. Wasn't that hard, was it?

        Paris - because she has been known to stretch the odd cloud now and then.

  30. Tempest

    Plod is using Amazon cloud in Ireland

    According to my reading, Plod has not followed a Buy British policy instead awarding their property devaluation system to Amazon Data Services in Ireland. NoScrupt users will have to permit several different websites before it works.

    I searched for a couple of places in Sussex and nothing showed up although Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire has more anti-social activity than any other category.

    And whilst it OFFERED "Stonehenge, Salisbury, South England SP4 7DE, UK" it subsequently responded with "Sorry, we couldn't find a policing area that matched your search."

    Obviously another UK Government success story.

    1. The Wegie


      "According to my reading, Plod has not followed a Buy British policy instead awarding their property devaluation system to Amazon Data Services in Ireland. NoScrupt users will have to permit several different websites before it works."

      And very helpfully, it tells me when I go to the site that I need to enable Javascript. Meh.

      Enable Javascript for Meh.

      Enable Javascript for Meh

      Enter postcode.


      Wait a bit longer.

      "Sorry, we couldn't find a policing area that matched your search".

      Who on earth did they employ to build this POS? A couple of monkeys hammering away at a keyboard until something approximating to code appeared?

  31. Durkin
    Thumb Down

    I'd like to report a crime.....

    .... the website no longer appears to be working! Typical.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Intentionally left blank?

    "A preview site was made available to journalists prior to the main site going live, and appeared to work as advertised "

    All I get, after entering my postcode, is a blank page. Does that mean there's no crime in my area, or no police?

    1. Keris

      Blank page

      Just a blank page here (and looking at a Wireshark trace it seems that no data is returned at all) after doing the enter postcode and wait sequence.

      Can I have my taxes back please?

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Unsurprisingly the site is broken

    Unsurprisingly the site is broken:-

    "Sorry, we couldn't find a policing area that matched your search" in response to all queries, including an address selection from a drop down list !

  34. Joe 1

    Oh Dear !

    "The Register Effect" has struck again

  35. Anonymous Coward


    Another piece of useless shit by inept developers.

  36. Sir Smokesalot

    Does not appear to work for all areas.....

    3 thefts reported inside 12 months , 2 from the car and one from the garage and not a dot , blob or icon to be seen, either on my road or any of the surrounding streets / avenues.....

    Think the mash has it right...a tool to keep us all in line.....

  37. Anonymous Coward

    What a crock of shit

    after 20 minutes, I finally got the page to load in Chrome (IE as usual being a dead loss). Only to be told that they couldn't find a policing area that matched my search.

    £300,000 for this ? I sincerely hope they had some SLA in place (that's a joke btw).

    If that had provided a webservice and a simple API, they would easily have had several sites light-years ahead of this shite.

    And I have to pay more tax for these retards ?

  38. Anonymous Coward

    I managed to use it

    However, I used it at about 8am. It worked and was quite interesting. In my area, there is a lot of violent crime near the night clubs and the pubs. I also find out that the level of crime in the area is classed as high. Also the police want to shut down the police station here!

    I would say it is useful information. However, it seems to be for December 2010 only.

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      for December 2010 only.

      For some unfathomable reason it will be accumulating data from now on. Why historic data can't be included with a couple of quick SQL commands to populate it from the old data I can't imagine.

      I suppose the police are going to be even busier now, dragging google map orange markers onto the place where Sharon says that Dave sent her a text threatening to slash her.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    At least I'll know where to score my next line of coke

    just look for drug offences near street corners

  40. Bob 63

    Think I see the problem

    Site is running Windows Server 2003

    On the bright side, the government normally pays millions for IT stuff that doesn't work. If this one was only £300K then that's a comparitive bargain - for something that doesn't work.

    1. Leona A
      Thumb Up


      Yep that's the issue for sure, they used all the money to buy a Micro$oft Server which can not handle the traffic, now if they'd used an Linux server it would have been cheaper, more secure and performed better, but government don't do Open Source, they don't trust it, if it doesn't cost > £65k they don't trust it.

  41. Steve Potter
    Thumb Down

    So who logged all these crimes

    I wonder how many police staff were involved in data entry rather than their primary duty of protecting life and property... maybe they have added a new one to that list, 'or reporting violations to life and property'

    I would sooner they arrived on scene than entered it in a database.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Never heard of Management Information Systems?

      Every police force sends data to the Home Office. It's done using data extracts. Obviously individual police officers don't sit around typing data into this new system. A lot of people who read

      The Register don't seem to have much knowledge of the real world.

      1. Sil_W

        A lot of people who read The Register...

        ... just like to put the boot into the police for being sinister, Orwellian agents of the State who get everywhere and know everything about every one of us, monitoring each individual's life in minuscule detail and occasionally subjecting us to terrifying brutality and stealing our cameras (which of course is a national police conspiracy and not just misunderstanding by individual officers of inconsistent guidance on terrorism); and for *simultaneously* being fat, lazy, stupid and never leaving the station unless crowbarred out.

        Meh. I don't think it really matters what you hate them for, as long as you hate them.

  42. Kay Burley ate my hamster


    If we keep clicking reload on this site is it regarded as a DDOS? and will the map reflect this?

  43. Ally J

    WhiteElephant 2.0

    I live in a thriving town with lots of transport links, and a cop shop just around the corner.

    Put in my postcode, I get: "Sorry, we couldn't find a policing area that matched your search"

    So, despite a valued member of our esteemed government on the radio this morning getting quite bolshy at any suggestion the site might fall over under the surge of demand, it still doesn't work.

    Which means that our glorious leaders have provided us with something they say will benefit us all, but which doesn't meet the public's needs and isn't available to everyone.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is working!

    The more people try the site the more demographic data they'll collect so they know who the inquisitive troublemakers are.

    Ooh, er. Did I say something wrong?

  45. Leona A

    Another great example

    Of government attempting to do IT.

    It'll be under funded, ill planned, inadequate, old, out of date technology which can not handle the load.

    It will not have been thought out, and the whole thing designed by committee.

    Lets say I work in such an environment, I know how these things go!

  46. SlackerUK


    Took an age to load and then I find that apparently I no longer live under the "protection" of Greater Manchester Police - or any other constabulary for that matter!

  47. PsychicMonkey
    Big Brother


    to those moaning about the £300k spent on this, do we really think this was built in under a year?

    I'm not saying it was money well spent but I strongly suspect this is one of those signed off under the dying government that the new one let finish as it was probably cheaper than killing it.

    PS: I know, a front page and a blank page could be done in under a year, I was talking about the pile of crap that they actually produced....

  48. biznuge


    they're using Amazon Web Services, Elastic Compute Cloud, EC2, E.

    Although I think they must have paid the invoice in Walkers crisp packets for all the computing power that seems to be eminating from the service.

    This is Monopoly City Streets [circa 2010] all over again, although in that instance it wasn't being funded by a large proportion of my bastarding wage...

    No load test

    No overage plan

    No SLA

    No-ones head on the block...

    Big fat hairy bollocking knobs...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Amazon EC2/Clueless Devs

      Looks like they're running Django or PHP on that based on the Twitter details of the lead developer.

      But you know what the real problem is? They hired a fricking ad agency, and these companies often have developers, but they often have little clue about actual software engineering. Scale things up and they go pop quite quickly. There's a big difference between some dink pub finder and building something for a national audience.

      My guess, they just thought they could stick it on EC2 and not have to worry. Yeah... about that...

  49. Cyclist

    a-z and or 0-9

    If only Apple had been behind this, it would have worked perfectly on the day of the big launch, and could have been named properly too. Ladeeez and gennermennn - I give you - The iPlod.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Oh goody.

    I'd been hoping to use information from this site for a Crime & Welfare report to our Parish Council this evening.

    "Server error.

    "The web page at is currently unavailable. It may be overloaded or down for maintenance."

    So now I can't get _any_ Police information at all!


    (Posting anonymously so that there's no question of representing my views as those of our Parish Council.)

  51. Mark .

    Level of demand

    The level of demand is obviously going to be massively more than what it would usually receive later on.

    So are people actually suggesting they should spend resources on systems that can cope with a massive demand, for the couple of days when it first launches, even though it'll be unnecessary later on? And people are also complaining about wasting money?

    (If this was a company, people would be spinning it as a good thing - "Look how popular demand for the product is!")

    1. Ally J

      @ 'Level of demand'

      It's a very good point, but what did they expect? Launch something interesting with a lot of publicity, you could reasonably expect there to be a lot of demand for it. The Public Records Office know to have extra capacity available when 'Who Do You Think You Are?' is on, so why can't Plod think the same way?

      1. Robert E A Harvey

        why can't Plod think the same way?

        ..Plod think...

        I think You've spotted the problem right there.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    3pm and still get a blank page, wtf!

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what about scotland?

    what about scotland?

    1. Woodgar

      re: what about scotland?

      Too many crimes in Scotland for the database to handle. Integer overflow, and all that.

    2. The Commenter formally known as Matt

      what about it?

      Scotland likes to do things on its own.

    3. Sil_W


      Scotland's a different country with a separate legal system. They wouldn't normally be included in crime figures for England and Wales.

      Wales, on the other hand, has historically (and I'm not going into the politics of this) been handled as part of England and shares a single criminal law system. For now, anyway.

  54. Anonymous Coward


    Found in the source in one of it's pages.....


    <div id="no-js">

    This website requires JavaScript in order to function properly. Either your web browser doesn't support JavaScript or it is currently disabled. Please enable JavaScript or use a JavaScript-enabled web browser. Alternatively, you can <a href="/data">download the latest crime figures</a>.

    <div id="welsh">

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede. Jjbhdmn skjd skj <a href="">sdfj skns dns kndpkqnd ljd kwjnr psk</a>.




    1. Anonymous Coward

      re: Welsh

      So as well as being crap it's also illegal? Great stuff. :-)

  55. Jimbo 6

    On a subject *other* than the website not working...

    How come there's only 6 categories ? Surely "taking photographs" and "protesting" need categories of their own, as most arrests these days seem to stem from those two activities?

    Also, had to laugh at the intro on the news last night - "From midnight tonight, a new police service will be available to residents of England & Wales..." Thank feck for that, cos the previous one was SHITE.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To the cloud! (and crash amazingly with multiple downtime!)

    It seems that is being brought to us via the AWS Cloud which infact is very slow right now due to the traffic (unsurprisingly) old hardware + strain = nightmare

  57. Mark Fenton

    Just like Ticketmaster et-al... doesn't work properly (at all) on WIndows 7 x64...

  58. The Commenter formally known as Matt

    Data and API available

    Get the data at:

    Supplied in a zipped csv (grouped by by force) Crimes listed by easting / northing and steet.

    Api appears to be available. Docs at

    So anyone moaning about the lack of api can stop. (Although I haven't tried it out to be fair)

    As for it timing out/crashing ... seriously announcements in all the national press about something that is slightly controversial and you are surprised that it is knackered!!!

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Duff site

    Doesn't work in either Firefox or Chrome. Just does nothing when you click the search button. Either it's duff Javascript, or it's making Ajax calls to a broken or non-existent backend.

    Anyone for "graceful degradation"? Nah, why bother. Web 2.0 FTW.

  60. Anonymous Coward


    preview site was made available to journalists prior to the main site going live, and appeared to work as advertised (see screengrab above).

    NO IT DOESNT - typical British implementation - how many servers do we need? That many, think of the cost; lets start with one and see how we go.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why am I not surprised

    I was involved, peripherally, when the Census site failed due to overload on its first day.

    Correction: not "overload" but badly spec-ed, under-tested and with toy hardware. Inexperienced designers, not very good prime contractor & inadequate kit. It to months to fix.

    When will these Public Sector twerps realise that if they are planning a system that is going to be on every news channel on the day of its launch, they'd better get some experienced advice as to what the load might be.

    If it is going to be many tens of thousands per minute, then they'd better talk to the pros in the Banks and other places where they take loads like that, per second!

  62. Dave 120
    Thumb Down

    The money is the least of the cost

    £300k, if that's what it cost to do the web app is nothing compared to the cost of all the police and associated admin staff it took to collect, tabulate, check, input and analyse the information that goes into making it. Wonder why there's never a policeman around when you need one?

  63. Steve Evans


    I tried this very early this morning, and it worked really well. I now feel safe to walk my road at night without anything happening to me... Although I am curious what the "violent crime" was just round the corner... I must complain to the local curtain twitchers about the lack of gossip.

    I also signed up for an API key, but haven't heard anything back from them. Probably too busy trying to transfer the access database onto something more capable!

  64. Sil_W


    Aside all the rabid police hate, there's not really much scope for the Government to win here. Keep crime figures quiet and they're accused of not being transparent. Release the crime figures in the conventional way and they're accused of fiddling the numbers. Create a direct access for people to find the figures and they're accused of wasting money and fiddling the numbers. And incompetence in IT, obviously.

    Personally, I'm in the 'waste of money' camp here, but only because I think the whole enterprise is pointless. I agree with the principle probably not written by Robert Peel that the measure of effective policing should be the absence of crime and disorder; and as far as that goes all we need is numbers. But if we're going to assume the numbers are all a con anyway - as they may well be - then there's not really any point at all.

    I suggest we all just adopt the proper stance of abject fear and paranoid mistrust of everyone. It's easy, cheap and fashionable.

  65. Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't work on Linux

    Ubuntu Meerkat 64bit

    1. Adrian Challinor

      works for me

      Ubuntu AMD64 bit 10.10 (Meercats are for TV adverts(

      1. Sil_W


        "Meercats are for TV adverts"

        And what about meerkats?

        (Grammar/Spelling Nazi, for obvious reasons.)

  66. Adrian Challinor

    Interesting use of statistics

    It doesn't actually report crimes, so much as reported crimes. If I recall, you have to be convicted for a crime to have occurred. The "ASB" statistic clearly states that the number includes all reported antisocial behaviour. So all it takes is one busy body to call up plod a few times with complaints about some noise / party / loud music / dog barking / alarm going off and you have a real crime black spot in your area.

    1. Steve Evans

      re: Interesting use of statistics

      Ah, very good point.

      What they should add is all the fields divided into several columns.


      That would certainly show some useful info.

      Although it would also be nice to see what punishment the little toe-rags get too. From what I've seen on "Police stop camera you've been framed action", the going rate for driving without insurance, tax, MOT or a license is £200 and a 12 month ban on the license you don't have... Significantly cheaper than paying for road tax, insurance and MOT!

  67. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Sil_W

      House Prices

      "(House prices have plummeted of course. Sales of car alarms way up, though.)"

      And of course, the plummet in house prices can only be attributed to this one single incident (and the way you describe it I very much doubt it'd have been logged as a crime in any case).

      Needless to say, the universal drop in house prices caused by the economic slump couldn't have had *anything* to do with it...

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