Hundreds of thousands of concerned British Citizen have already flocked to the UK Police Crime Map website over the last 24 hours bringing the website to a stand still.
The website, which launched on Tuesday, was developed by an advertising agency, Rock Kitchen Harris, the one that came up with the original CrimeMappper web site for all 43 English and Welsh police forces in 2009. The company has been building websites and web applications for police forces, charities and businesses since 1996.
The UK police crime map website - which has the support of DirectGov, Crimestoppers and Data.gov.uk - is powered by Amazon EC2, which should have allowed it to scale graciously under very heavy load but obviously didn't work as planned. This prompted website monitoring service Netcraft to quip that RKH might have forgotten to switch on a feature called Auto Scaling which worked wonderfully well for Wikileaks.
www.police.uk got a Google Page rank of 7 as of today and is likely to be amongst the top 1000 websites in the UK according to web analytics specialist Alexa. This would make the website one of the fastest growing UK-based websites ever.
The website went offline shortly after the BBC news at around 2215 on the 31st January. At some point, more than 75,000 people per minute tried to access the website according to the Daily Mail, which is even more than the newspaper's website itself.