Crime maps spreading crime?


Crime maps for where you live?

Some would think it’s a wonderful idea. But others don’t agree.

The map at http://www.police.uk/crime has got journalists writing away!

police.uk crime map for Islington

Journalists have been able to use the crime map to criticise the move made by the police. They are saying that the map has the potential to make criminals scarper from their ususal ‘cime spot’, moving elsewhere as they know there will be a heavier police presence. Therefore crime areas are being expanded, changing them from crime ‘spots’ to crime ‘splodges’.

Journalists are also saying that the data from the police website will lower house property prices in the areas where crime is most prominent.

But some praise the maps for helping to improve people’s safety. I guess the aim of the maps is to demonstrate crime hotspots to civilians, increasing their safety through the day and at night.

Generally, the police are often targetted for criticism by journalists. So I reckon that the police are wrong, whatever they do. Journalists often say that the police are not doing enough to combat street crime and there are not enough patrols out keeping us safe. And now they are being criticised for trying to show where crime is taking place, and the places best to avoid.

The Metro‘s John Higginson isn’t himself saying that the data will cause criminals to go elsewhere, but quotes others who expect to see this outcome.

Julia Greenaway @juliacgreenaway

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