#Hyperlocal crime data arrives

There will be a lot of fuss in this morning’s papers about the arrival of the new police mapping tool Police.uk

Police division crime data has been available for a long time, but for the first time, details of a number of crimes will be mapped right down to street level.

Vehicle crime and anti-social behaviour are two of the examples given.

You can also access the data files behind the numbers.

How handy it becomes for journalists remains to be seen. The nationals, not surprisingly, have used it to compile the most dangerous streets in the UK. No-one who knows Preston will be surprised to see Glovers Court – a street with a lot of bars – is near the top.

Going forward, it’s a resource which I suspect will become handy when writing about anti-social behaviour or crimes in general – a handy reference to give scale to stories.

It could also generate stories if referred to every month – the top streets for burglaries in an area, for example.

But it’s real strength will probably be unlocked by hyperlocal sites. Just being able to scroll around and see where crimes were committed is potentially a very powerful tool.

It’s a site journalists everywhere should bookmark.

Update: Two good posts about this new site:

Mike Rawlins looks at how to use it on Talkaboutlocal

LouLouK casts a more critical eye over the new site

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