Crime maps published
By politics.co.uk staff
People across England and Wales will be able to access details of crime levels and trends in their local communities from today, under a government initiative.
The Neighbourhood crime maps provide a picture of crime in specific police force areas, allowing members of the public to see the volume of crime as well as trends and comparisons with the rest of the country.
The Home Office claims the maps will also allow people to see how local crime fighting partnerships are impacting on the issues of local concern and will give people the information needed to dictate local priorities.
The types of crime shown on the maps include burglary, robbery, theft, vehicle crime, violent crime and anti-social behaviour.
Announcing the launch of the scheme on Tuesday, Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said: “I am determined to give people the crime information which, as the Casey Review found, they want.
“Every single police force in England and Wales now has crime mapping. This gives comprehensive knowledge about crime patterns and hotspots to communities.
“By empowering people with this information they are able to engage more with their neighbourhood policing teams. I am sure this will lead to an even more responsive and effective police, thoroughly in tune with people’s needs.”
Mr Coaker added crime mapping would now ensure the public’s opinions were heard when police forces set their priorities for tackling crime.
Neil Rhodes, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) lead on crime mapping, added that police forces across the country would “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”.
But the Liberal Democrats said the maps needed to indicate how efforts to cut crime were progressing.
“Crime maps should include local detection rates – the key factor in deterring crime – so we can give praise or criticism where it is due,” said the party’s home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne.