Blog - BS Data, hackery, stories

The new police.uk is live, maps-loving and a bit creepy

The new police.uk was launched last week, with a lot of nice new features.
This new portal aime to 'give the public even more access to information about crime problems and how they are dealt with their area.'
The new interface looks quite simple and very modern, as is the new data.gov.uk. Among the new functions, we note:

  • the email alerts to be notified of updates in crime data for their area
  • the possibility to compare different police forces to one another
  • and a bunch of crime prevention advices, of course.

The most striking capability of the website is the possibility to create personalised 'crime maps'... that can be shared on social networks.
Home Secretary Theresa May said that these 'detailed, street-level crime maps are one of the IT successes of this government.' She also describes the site as a new opportunity for citizens to 'hold their local police and wider criminal justice to account and ensure crime continues to be driven down.'

Other notable stuff: the featured apps. This is one of the open government's prowess: developers around the UK can use the data and the API provided by Police.uk under the Open Government Licence - this gift for journalists.
However the main use of data for apps is mapping, as one may see when opening the apps page, some are fairly creative, like Crime Sounds, which is... fairly hard to describe. Just try it - it is creepy.
It can be pretty scary to read that 4 violence and sexual assaults were reported last month in my street, but is is informative.

The reactions to this new tool are quite good, and the tweets we collected praise in particular the modern interface.