Monday, January 30, 2012

Updates Announced for UK Crime Map

The UK government's official crime map, which uses Google Maps to map UK crime, has been visited over 450 million times and is by far and away the most popular UK government website.

Today the UK government announced that from tomorrow users of the maps will be able to get crime statistics for more locations. Currently users can search the map by postcode or by address and get results based on "an anonymous point on or near the road where they (the crimes) occurred."

As of tomorrow users will be able to search for crimes that have taken place at specific public locations, such as individual railway stations, shopping centres, airports, hospitals, parks and nightclubs etc.

Despite its popularity the map has not been free of criticism. The knowwhere blog posted a good round-up of some of the criticism the website faced in the week of its original release.

The new mapping of public spaces is also proving controversial. For example there are worries that nightclub owners may become much less likely to liaise with local police forces over criminal activity within their establishments if the result is that the clubs are then shown as criminal hotspots on the map.

Today the UK government also announced that from May users of the crime map will be able to see what happened after a crime was committed, what action was taken by the police and whether anyone was eventually convicted for the crime.

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