UK crime maps launch: a step towards "accountability and transparency" or scaremongering?

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Detailed maps on crime hotspots and anti-social behaviour in the UK have gone live today, in a move that Nick Herbert, minister for policing and criminal justice, said was a “very important step in accountability and transparency”.

By entering a postcode into the www.police.uk website, you’ll be given extensive information on crimes within the area. Six types of offence, including burglary, robbery, vehicle crime, violence, and antisocial behaviour are tracked, with sex crimes included within the “other” category.

Though only going live this morning, the site has already been receiving around 75,000 hits every minute.

“I think we are putting power in the hands of people by giving them the information but more than that, we are also giving them information about what they can do,” said Herbert, though other groups have been less positive about the website.

Estate agents in particular have felt that the “naming and shaming” approach the webste takes could affect law abiding house-owners, unfairly damaging their house prices if they are deemed to be situated in a trouble hot-spot.

Others have argued that the maps will actually aid criminals; by highlighting known crime zones, the website also effectively predicts where the is likely to be an increased police presence, encouraging law breakers to move onto pastures new.

So how do you feel about the new crime mapping website? Does it make you feel more or less safe on the streets, or is this a case of “ignorance is bliss”,particularly if it’s going to affect the worth of your property?

Let us know in the comments below.

Via: The Guardian

Gerald Lynch

One thought on “UK crime maps launch: a step towards "accountability and transparency" or scaremongering?

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