Communities can now compare police performance with forces across the country at the click of a mouse, the Home Office announced today.
Members of the public can look up performance categories including crime rates, quality of service and victim satisfaction and compare all 43 police forces in England and Wales via police.uk.
For the first time, communities are also able to access street-by-street information on public disorder and possession of weapons, shoplifting, criminal damage and arson, theft, and drug crime.
Information on offence rates was uploaded today on the police.uk website as part of the government’s commitment to improve transparency across the criminal justice system.
Communities will be able to look up levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in their area and use it to hold their local police, and in time their elected Police and Crime Commissioner, to account.
Nick Herbert, Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, said:
‘Our crime mapping website, police.uk, has attracted phenomenal interest since its launch earlier this year with more than 430 million hits to date. We want to build on this success and deliver a more transparent and accountable criminal justice system.
‘The addition of further crime categories and easy access to police force performance data will give people the information and power they need to hold their local forces to account and ensure that crime in their area is driven down.
‘Ahead of the introduction of elected Police and Crime Commissioners, crime mapping is just one way in which the government is empowering communities and strengthening the link between the police and the public.’
The government is also working on a number of further improvements to the site. These include:
- the provision of more specific crime and anti-social behaviour location information. At present crimes are mapped to an anonymous point (called a ‘snap-point’) on a street with 12 or more postal addresses. We want to reduce this threshold and publish crime information for key locations such as football stadiums, parks and supermarkets so the public has access to an even greater level of information about crime and anti-social behaviour
- the government working with the British Transport Police to extend the range of information provided on police.uk so the public can access information about crime rates at railway stations
- by May 2012, the public will be able to access police.uk to see what has happened after a crime has been reported to the police and track its progress through the criminal justice system
Notes to editors
Comparable crime and policing information is accessible through police.uk (as well as www.hmic.gov.uk).
The Home Office, HMIC and the NPIA have been working to integrate force-level crime data with police.uk. The public can now access a graph to show ‘all crime and anti-social behaviour’ in the force over time, along with a short commentary by HMIC to help them understand crime trends.
The interactive map on police.uk allows the public to access information on 11 categories of crime broken down to street level in England and Wales. The categories are: public disorder and the possession of weapons, shoplifting, criminal damage and arson, other theft, drugs, burglary, robbery, vehicle crime, violence, other crime and anti-social behaviour (a total of all of these combined is also included).
The website www.police.uk is under constant development to make crime, justice and policing more transparent. The Home Office has appointed ‘trailblazer’ police force areas to develop innovative ways to deliver greater transparency. These include:
- Surrey Police have developed a new mobile phone application (which is available to download at police.uk) which allows the local Safer Neighbourhood team to ‘tweet on the beat’ so local communities know what they are working on
- Avon and Somerset Police’s TrackMyCrime initiative allows victims to track the progress of their case online and has won praise from Victim Support