Mapping crime using the net

A WEBSITE detailing crimes street-by-street in Hartlepool and the rest of the UK has been launched.

The internet site www.police.uk works by directing users to a map, once they have entered their post code, to then find out the type and number of crimes in a particular area or street.

The crime maps have been designed by the Government at a cost of £300,000 to give people the information they need to hold their local police to account.

The Government gathers the information from police forces’ websites nationally and collates the statistics on the new site.

Cleveland Police already provides a mapping service aiming to give the people of Hartlepool up-to-date and detailed information about crime levels, as previously reported by the Mail.

It is broken down into the town’s 17 wards and is colour-coded showing where crime is rife, and gives a monthly summary of offences committed, and even comparisons from three months ago or a year ago.

Home Secretary Theresa May hoped the new national crime maps would also help people find out what was really going on in their area, but denied that such detailed information would drive down house prices.

She said: “This is giving people a real tool, real power to see that something is being done about crime in their area. This doesn’t make them frightened, it actually makes them feel a part of what is happening.

“This will give them the real facts and figures.

“This will make the police more accountable. It gives people a real tool to hold the police to account.”

It is the first time such detailed crime maps have been available for an entire country anywhere in the world.

People will be able to find out which crimes have taken place on or near their street within the last month, as well as the names of the officers responsible for their area.

Crime trends will also be established as the site develops and this could be extended to include details on the outcomes of court cases in the future.