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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 (opens in new tab).

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.