Remember that time you saw that bloke legging it up the street followed by a team of hooded pursuers? I bet you’ve always wondered whether he was late for a meeting, just larking about or was in fact being chased into submission by a gang of teenage assailants wielding sticks with nails in them. Well, soon you’ll be able to find out.
Police in England and Wales started publishing monthly crime statistics on their websites this month, but that’s only the start of a broader initiative to provide more public access to local crime information. In fact, the government plans for a system of “interactive maps” showing the public when and where crimes have happened, even going right down to the street level.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith made the crime maps idea public in a Policing Green Paper released earlier this month. Ms Smith reckons that the “The public are the best weapon for fighting crime.” The next initiative will be to arm special constables with sharpened members of the public to stave off villains.
“By rolling out up-to-date, interactive crime maps we can better inform people about crime problems in their area and enable them to have much more of a say in what their local police focus on,” she added. I’m not sure how that helps really – surely we’d just like the police to solve the crime in general. Not just one or two bits of it. Perhaps we could introduce a text voting system. 8016616 12 if you want teenage knife criminals off the streets, text 8016616 13 if you think late night revelers are the bane of society, or text 8016616 14 if you want speeding motorists clapped in irons.
Anyway, we’re hoping that some clever sausage manages to tie this into Google maps, much akin to our artists impression above.