|Streets of Crime|
Map showing local crime statistics goes live
You can now view the number of offences committed near your home as the first national map of crime at street level goes live - but the website has already encountered teething problems.
Policing Minister Nick Herbert said, www.police.uk, had been receiving 75,000 hits per minute and on its launch day there were reports of delays and site inaccessibility.
The new National Crimemapping service provides a street by street guide to reported crime that can help people discover the real extent of offending in their neighbourhood.
The new system was developed by the National Policing Improvement Agency for the Home Office and pinpoints crime and antisocial behaviour down to street level with information updated on a monthly basis.
Home Secretary Theresa May said people had lost confidence in national crime figures, and the maps would give real facts and make police more accountable.
Information is broken down into six categories - burglary, robbery, vehicle crime, violence, other crime and anti-social behaviour.
Sex crimes have been included in the "other" category, along with crimes such as theft and shoplifting, to help prevent victims from being identified.
Local police appeals and details of police community meetings will also be published alongside the maps.The website provides more detail, down to street-level, than existing online crime maps provided by forces in England and Wales.
Crime trends will also be established as the site develops and could be extended to include details on the outcomes of court cases, or a system for individual victims to track the progress of their case online.
The government said the site was an important part of its "transparency agenda", making the data available in an open format so that communities could use it to "help people engage with the police in a meaningful way".
Ealing Central and Acton MP Angie Bray has welcomed the website :
'' I am really pleased that the Government has demonstrated they are serious about cutting the levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in our communities. By providing crime data in an open format that anyone can access, even from their mobile phone, we can all hold our local police force to account.
''We can ensure they deal with the issues that actually matter to us locally not those decided by a Whitehall bureaucrat. I think this new initiative to give us all access to local crime stats, right up to our doorstep, is a great step forward in helping us understand the local crime picture and in making sure that our local police are focusing their resources on keeping the streets of Ealing and Acton safe.''
Have you viewed the site? What do you think?
1st February 2011