There is much interest in publishing data about crime in ways which are accessible and useful to the public. In the data mashing world, this discussion naturally centres on the uses involving mapping as people have seen the examples of geographically presented data from the USA.
The Task Force has started to look into this subject. We are building a picture of the different data sources that are available and how they are currently presented on the internet.
The Home Office publish two main sources of crime data, the British Crime Survey (BCS) and police recorded crime. The BCS data provides national and regional trends. This is very high level and can have only general relevance to someone in their home trying to work out levels of crime in their neighbourhood. Police recorded crime is published annually at Basic Command Unit, Local Authority and Crime and Disorder Partnership levels, but none of these are fine enough to give information on crime levels in a person’s immediate neighbourhood.
Police Forces in England and Wales will publish in July this year more granular information on the crimes they record (so-called ‘recorded crime’). In particular the data should be localised and in some cases geo-tagged and catetgorised by types of crime. Each of the 43 forces will publish its own data. Some forces and third parties such as academics are already experimenting with online crime maps. We have put links in the rolling list of sites here.
The Taskforce will be working with Home Office, the police and other partners on how to present these fascinating new data sets in a form that is mashable. We are interested to hear from the mash up community, the police, academics, citizens, neighbourhood watch teams or anyone interested in crime mapping on what uses this could be put to and what issues to look out for. Please use the comment fucntion below to get in touch and start a discussion.
Article by Task Force Secretariat.