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Science
CRIME HOTSPOTS
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Tuesday 26 August 2008 20.00-20.30pm

Last month the Home Office announced that everyone in England and Wales will have access to neighbourhood crime maps by the end of this year. But will these maps show an accurate picture of crime in your area? Nick Ross investigates.

Policemen in yellow jackets
Will publishing crime maps help to cut crime?
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Crime Hotspots

In Crime Hotspots, Nick Ross uncovers concerns that crime maps could present a false and misleading picture of local crime.

The planned maps will show crimes that have been reported to the police each month, divided into various categories such as serious violent crime, drug offences and theft.

According to Crime & Policing Minister Tony McNulty, "Presenting crime graphically in maps really shows people not just what's going on in their area, but what the police are doing about it."

However, criminologists such as Prof Marian Fitzgerald are concerned that these maps will not be a true indicator of crime levels and won’t reveal the worst crime hotspots.

Nick visits West Midlands Police to find out how Geographic Information Science has revolutionized the way they deal with offending.

Geo-spatial analysis allows previously unseen patterns to be spotted, so that police resources can be deployed effectively.

But will publishing crime maps help to cut crime?

What do you think about crime mapping?
Post your comments here:

BBC Magazine - Will Crime Maps Work?


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