Met police in web 2.0 crime map mash up

Not looking rosy for Southwark
Written by Natasha Lomas, Contributor on

Not looking rosy for Southwark

The Met Police has launched a test version of a clickable crime map for London showing how levels of burglary, robbery and vehicle theft vary across the capital.

The beta map mashes up Google Maps with crime statistics for each borough, using coloured overlays to indicate varying levels of criminal activity - from patches of dark blue (for low crime) to red (high).

Southwark comes out as the most crime-ridden borough, with Hackney, Newham, Waltham Forest and Westminster all above average, according to the stats, while outlying suburban areas Bexley, Harrow, Merton, Kingston, Richmond and Sutton all have below average crime levels.

Searches can be conducted by postcode or borough, and results include a summary of the current crime rate and how it compares to rates in recent years. Users are also free to scroll around the map, seeing how crime levels fluctuate along particular streets and local areas.

The site has been developed by the Met Police Service in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police Authority and the Mayor of London - and is part of a Home Office initiative to get more people involved with their local police and enable the public to hold local police forces to account.

Earlier this year, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the government plans to roll out local crime maps in every neighbourhood by the end of the year.

She said in a statement: "By rolling out up-to-date, interactive crime maps we can better inform people about crime problems in their area and enable them to have much more of a say in what their local police focus on. This will help increase public confidence in the police and make communities safer."

The Crime Mapping test website can be found here.

The Met said further features are likely to be added in the near future, following user feedback.

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