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Dublin: 14 °C Wednesday 16 April, 2014

‘Crime map’ lets UK public see what offences are committed on their doorstep

New mapping facility is aiming to keep people safer – and increase transparency in crime-fighting.

Image: PA Images/Peter Byrne

THE ‘CRIME MAP’ launched by the British Home Office is providing information to the public on crime and policing in their street.

The map, which took some inspiration from the LAPD crime map in the States, was launched a week ago. Members of the public can log on to www.police.uk and see what crimes have taken place in their area in the past month. It also lists which police officers have personal responsibility for that area.

The Home Secretary Theresa May said the interactive maps would “open the door on crime and policing information, allowing people to view crimes including burglary, violence and anti-social behaviour”. The street-by-street mapping of reported incidents is supposed to promote “transparency in crime, politics and justice”.

The site had a “lame start” according to the Economist: the high volume of people logging on crashed the site, and there were some rogue statistics problems. Now though, the website appears to have gotten into its stride and the Economist article poses some interesting questions on its value to the public, namely:

  • Will it give people more confidence in the police?
  • Will it affect house prices and insurance premiums?
  • Will it make police more accountable to the public?
  • Will it make the public safer by giving them information on crime hot spots?

There is no plan in Ireland yet for a ‘crime map’.

Read The Economist’s take on the UK’s ‘crime map’ here>

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