Another waste of tax payers money?

You may have read that the Home Office has launched a crime mapping website. It allows you to enter the name of a Town, City or postcode, to obtain a summary of crime statistics.

So I experimented with it and found out that according to police statistics, crime in Nottingham has fallen by 11.8% when compared to this time last year.

Anyone who reads police blogs such as has read about the many ways the police force fiddle the crime statistics. So I tend to look at any crime statistics with a pinch of salt.

But I am interested in how some of the statistics thrown up by this site seem to make little sense.

For example, if you insert the postcode NG7, an inner city area of Nottingham, it tells you that robbery is up by 14.2%. However as you can see from the table reperoduced below, this analysis does not tie up with the figures displayed.

Sep Oct Nov Average
2007 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2
2008 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2

There are other examples of crime analysis on this website that make no sense at all.

Follow the link below to use the crime mapping tool yourself.


3 Responses to Another waste of tax payers money?

  1. Robin says:

    I’ll have a good look at this latest “tool” from the Home Office and post a comment on here. Lots of Home Office crime mapping and crime survey design and analysis deliberately does not make sense. I used to work as a Senior Researcher (criminologist) in the home Office for over 14 years so I should know.

  2. nottgirl says:

    Thanks Robin. I can see it doesn’t make sense, but it will be good to have your professional thoughts on it.

  3. Robin says:

    I’ve looked at this site. The biggest problem is that it homogenises crime statistics. Because when you enter a postcode the software matches it to a ward rather than a real known neighbourhood. So if you live in Mapperley Park for example – where there is a large amount of anti-social behaviour from prostitutes – you are classed as being within the wider area of “mapperley” – which has zero prostitution. Hence your crime rates are nicely diluted by having your street included with a large number of streets that are over a mile away and do not have the same neighbourhood crime problems.

    The figures therefore will not match the real lived examples of people living within known, named notorious neighbourhoods because the crime figure are diluted by including in low crime areas outside the known neighbourhood but within the electoral ward. This is total madness because these wards do not resemble real geographically divided neighbourhoods – they are merely and administrative convenience.

    What is administratively convenient is useless for police who really need to fine tune the best way to allocate scarce resources. Note: police beats also bear no resemblance to real geographical neighbourhood – being just another arbitrary administrative boundary. This means police beats also homogenise their crime rates by including (say) half of a known notorious high crime area with half of a low crime area.

    In effect this is a complete waste of tax payer’s money…and is nothing short of useless criminological and policing quackery!

    We have blogged on this on Bent Society and as a result The Guardian asked us to write a blog on their site on the subject: Here is a link to all of our posts on this very subject:

    End the quackery!

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