Online Crime Maps Could Be Useful For Criminals Says Police Chief

Plans by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to disclose crime hotspots to the general public in order to allay the public's fear of crime have been criticised by a police union boss.

Paul McKeever from the Police Federation fears that the the maps will instead be a useful tool for the criminals who are now aware of the regions where the police force has a strong presence and added that it would be like handing offenders policemen's diaries.

Other critics have said that this could affect a host of other related services like the price of houses or insurance quotes.

Online Crime Maps for London were published back in August and such schemes have already been adopted with relative success in the United States.

Initially, the plan was to raise public awareness about the risk areas and hold police forces around the country accountable to the people living in so called hotspots, down to street levels and can show huge variations.

According to the Telegraph, all police forces in the United Kingdom will have their own maps by the end of the year.

You can view the illustrations (powered by Google Maps and Tele Atlas) for the Metropolitan police at maps.met.police.uk.