Online UK Crime Map Launched, Crashes Almost Immediately

The Home Office has announced the launch of a new online crime mapping service for England and Wales.

The service, developed by the National Policing Improvement Agency for the Home Office, allows people to view street-by-street crime statistics by typing a post code into the police.uk website. Results shown are broken up into six categories - burglary, anti-social behaviour, robbery, vehicle crime, violent crime and other crime.

The £300,000 site also contains the contact details of local neighbourhood policing teams and information on upcoming beat meetings - at least when it's up and running.

All information is to be updated on a monthly basis. However, many reported that access to the site was patchy at best despite the fact that it uses Amazon EC2 for provisioning. It was unavailable since yesterday night after it appeared on BBC news for around 12 hours.

Greater Manchester Police Deputy Chief Constable Simon Byrne welcomed the service, saying that will allow communities to get a “real insight” into the types of crime happening on their doorsteps.

“I welcome such transparency as it also gives us an opportunity to show what strides we are making in tackling the crimes that most affect residents,” he added. Home Secretary Theresa May expects the public reaction to the project to be positive, the BBC reports.

“I think people are going to welcome the fact they can really see what's happening with crime in their area, not just on their street but in their neighbourhood,” she said. “I think they will feel a greater connection with the police, with much more information about where they can go to, and who they can work with.”