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Map crime in your neighbourhood

6 January 2009

You can now track crime in your area - and around the country - at the click of a mouse.

Neighbourhood crime maps, which are now up and running on all 43 police force websites, provide a good picture of crime trends.

The maps also allow you to see how local crime fighting partnerships address local concerns.

Seeing crime in a local way

The information provided is broken down into neighbourhood chunks, and includes locations of burglaries, robberies, thefts, vehicle crimes, violent crimes and anti-social behaviour.

These maps help to put crime into local context. Reading national and regional crime figures can be intimidating, so it's helpful - and can be reassuring - to see precisely what's going on in your own area.

Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker said research found that most people wanted more information about crimes near where they live or work.

'By empowering people with this information they are able to engage more with their neighbourhood policing teams,' he said. I am sure this will lead to an even more responsive and effective police, thoroughly in tune with people’s needs.

'As a result, crime mapping can help ensure people’s voices are heard when police set crime fighting priorities.' 

Community focused

Neil Rhodes, from the Association of Chief Police Officers, said mapping crime has long helped forces to keep an eye on crime trends.

'For many years, all forces have mapped crimes and incidents to help them focus investigations, analyse hot spots and tackle crime vigorously,' he said.

'The information now on the forces’ websites has a different, more community-focused perspective, and means the public can now look at crime levels in their community simply by putting their postcode into their local police force’s website.'

Welsh forces, and those in the East Midlands region of England (Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire), have chosen to map collaboratively.

This means that, if you live close to the edge of one of those police force areas, you can look at crime levels in adjoining areas at the click of a button.

Mr Rhodes added, 'Forces will continue to work hard to provide the public with the very best information, with more facts to help them understand what is happening in their area and reassure them of what is being done to make them safer.'

Part of the policing pledge

Crime mapping is a key part of the national policing pledge to which all forces have now committed. The pledge sets basic national standards and commitments to police response times, neighbourhood policing and working with local residents on crime priorities.

See for yourself

To see a crime map for your area, go to the website of your local force and search for 'crime map'.

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