In the Media

Police launch crime map 2.0

PUBLISHED October 28, 2011

Website, which has had 430m-plus hits since February, now includes wider range of crime and performance of local forces The police's popular crime map website , which has attracted more than 430m hits since it was launched in February, is being expanded to allow the public to compare the performance of their local force with others. A search by postcode or address will also reveal street-level information about a much wider range of crime and antisocial behaviour including public disorder, shoplifting, criminal damage, arson and drug offences. Up until now the information has been restricted to the broad categories burglaries, robberies, car crime, violent crime and antisocial behaviour. The expanded site allows visitors to identify local hotspots more easily by grouping crime and antisocial incidents by individual street. The Home Office, however, says it wants to go further. All crime and antisocial behaviour incidents are currently mapped to a "snap-point" on a street with 12 or more postal addresses: "We want to reduce the threshold and publish crime information for key locations such as football stadiums, parks and supermarkets so the public has access to an even greater level of information," said a spokesman. Ministers also promise that from next May the public will be able to see what has happened as a result of a crime being reported and track its progress through the criminal justice system. This, however, involves difficult decisions which have yet to taken about identifying suspects or convicted criminals online. Individual forces have taken their own initiatives. Surrey police have developed a new mobile app that allows officers in safer neighbourhood teams to "tweet on the beat" so that the local community can follow what they are working on. It can be downloaded from the website . Avon and Somerset police have already launched a TrackMyCrime initiative which allows victims to follow the progress of their case. The main site's provision to compare the performance of your local force with others is perhaps less useful. A link clicks through to the website of Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary presents five bar charts showing the performance of each of the 43 forces by crime, quality of service, cost and size of workforce. The tables show that the Metropolitan police have the highest crime levels, the largest workforce, but the poorest quality of service at the highest cost. The policing minister, Nick Herbert, said that he wanted to build on the phenomenal interest since the launch of the crime-mapping website earlier this year to deliver a more accountable and transparent criminal justice system. "The addition of further crime categories and easy access to police force performance data will give people the information and power they need to hold their local forces to account and ensure that crime in their area is driven down," said Herbert. "Ahead of the introduction of elected police and crime commissioners, crime mapping is just one way in which the government is empowering communities and strengthening the link between the police and the public." Police Crime Conservative and Liberal Democrat cabinet Conservatives Liberal Democrats Liberal-Conservative coalition Metropolitan police London Alan Travis © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds