Security Investigate

Crime In Focus : A paper examining pitfalls in public crime mapping

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Executive Summary

In July 2008, UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith pledged that interactive maps, which allow every neighbourhood in England and Wales to access local crime information, were to be put in place by every police force in the land by the end of the year. This was one of a number of pledges made in a green paper aimed to improve policing and its appreciation by the public, business, the media and other public service agencies1. The motivation for publishing crime maps was laudable: to keep the public better informed about crime in their immediate environs, and to provide a channel for disseminating the actual successes being achieved by law enforcement initiatives. Sharing, analysis and visualisation of crime data and patterns is equally important between stakeholders in co-operative groups fighting crime, such as Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships.

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