Launch of Street Level Crime Information
Wednesday, 02nd February 2011
You may have heard on the news about the new launch of street level crime inforamtion on the internet.
RBWM are and have been a ‘Trailblazer’ sending out open and transparent information on Community Messaging for many years now. As they have been at the forefront of information sharing and have experience in this field, they were chosen from the whole country, for the launch of the new facility. Supt Tim De Meyer, the Area Commander, welcomed Theresa May the Home Secretary, along with other Home Office Ministers and the Chief Constable, Sarah Thornton to the launch.
There has been some adverse publicity about the site, that it will increase the fear of crime if residents know how much crime there is in their community but Thames Valley Police believe that ‘awareness’ does not raise fear, but ‘reassurance’ in how little crime there generally is and if you know about it, you can do something to prevent yourself from becoming a victim.
5 million people tried to access the website within hours of it becoming available causing the site to go down and millions have been online since. It should back on line shortly, but this clearly shows that people want this information.
People across England & Wales, can see details of crimes and anti-social behaviour in their street, reported to the police over the previous month, by simply typing in their postcode. You can therefore get a picture of the crime and anti-social behaviour, which really matters to you. It will reflect the street or neighbourhood where you live, work, socialise, trade or go to school. This is very different from the existing ‘CrimeMapper’, which provides crime maps down to ward level only.
The categories of crimes and incidents displayed include burglary, robbery, violence and vehicle crime, as well as other crime and anti social behaviour. These crime categories have been grouped together, to help ensure that privacy is protected.
Each dot on the map of the area where you live marks the ‘approximate’ location of a crime or incident of anti-social behaviour reported to the police. Please do bear this in mind. This approximation is important, because it preserves anonymity. The dots do not identify the house affected.
If there are no dots on a street, it will mean that no incidents of crime or anti-social behaviour were reported to the police on or near that street in the last month; that is of course, what we want to see!
However, in order to protect anonymity, particularly if a street has fewer than 12 postal addresses, crimes are not normally shown mapped to that street. Instead, they are “snapped” to the nearest appropriate location.
Though crimes maps are interesting, the point of this isn’t simply to facilitate the passive viewing of data by residents. Thames Valley Police don’t want residents just to look at the information, they want you to challenge them about it, to help them to solve and to work with them to reduce it.
Alongside the crime maps, will be information about the Neighbourhood Teams with dates of future surgeries and public meetings. That way, you can know how to contact the police in order to discuss the concerns you have about your community, what the police are doing to address them and how you can get involved. This is therefore, about showing you and other residents the problem, telling you what they are doing to resolve it, encouraging you to work with them and about them being held to account, for cutting crime.
Visit www.police.uk to view your area, meet your local team and find out ways to get involved, such as the next local beat meeting!