After over 18 months I’ve been told by the Metropolitan Police to stop producing my crime maps.

I was told by a slightly convoluted route (I understand a complaint by Harrow Council prompted a chain of communication that hopped along at least three intermediaries to me) but I understand that the Met’s issues are mainly over privacy – that victims can be identified by a combination of road and crime – but also that they would increase fear of crime and that detailing the methods meant criminals could use my site to learn new ways of committing crime.

While I disagree I’m obviously not going to continue having been told to stop by the police.

And if I’m honest, I’m not that unhappy. They took a little time to produce and the policing white paper has a commitment to “street level” crime information by February of next year, so it’s not as if this sort of information isn’t coming around the corner anyway.

What’s more, while I have been producing them huge amounts of data have been made available in open formats that just weren’t there at the beginning of 2009. The London Data Store being a prime example, and just looking at the crime and community safety category immediately reveals some interesting looking datasets. I’m looking forward to being able to use the time to start looking at those and, perhaps, sharing some amateurish analysis on the blog.

4 thoughts on “No more crime briefings

  1. The maps where good and informative.

    Of course I disagree with the argument, which could be turned into : “better hide all information from public, so ignorants are happier”.

    On that route OFSTED should not provide stats for schools as it encourages parents to oversubscribe some schools (amazingly the good ones), not information should be produced on planning and all decision taken behind close doors so people are not demonstrating against some applications and/or ill-developers have no clue how to over-turn possible-refusals…etc.

    Never forget that police is human and then able to fail. They could be totally wrong to pass this message and it could be your duty to stand as a public representative and carry on your informative disclosure (with all the respect shown for privacy).

    Maybe you will find other ways to inform the residents?

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