BBC News

Crime map website to reveal hotspots

image captionThe maps already record reports of different categories of crime and anti-social behaviour

The number and type of crimes which take place at hotspots like nightclubs, subways and parks are to be revealed on a crime-mapping website from Tuesday.

The site, which lets users in England and Wales see reported crimes in their street, now covers public places.

Home Secretary Theresa May said revealing details of crime and disorder would make police more accountable.

Policing minister Nick Herbert said had received 453 million hits since its launch a year ago.

"Our crime mapping website is continuing to evolve and revolutionise the way people access crime data," he said.

The public appetite was clear and the government had listened to public demand for even more detailed information, he added.

'Reduce fear'

Mrs May said the website would show crimes which happened "near a range of public places" including railway stations, nightclubs, parks and shopping areas.

"Since October, the public have been able to use the website to see how their force performs in a range of areas like crime rates, quality of service and victim satisfaction," she said on Monday.

"[On Tuesday] we'll launch the next stage of crime mapping, in which we'll start to map crimes to or near a range of public places.

"By May, crime maps will show the public what happens after a crime has occurred - what action the police took and what the criminal justice outcome was."

She said people will be able to check if criminals were arrested, charged, or sent to prison.

"Armed with the information from those crime maps, people can attend their local neighbourhood beat meeting and hold their local police to account for their performance," she said.

"That will help drive up local policing standards and help drive down local crime."

The crime-mapping site, which allows users to see the offences reported in their local street by entering a street name or postcode, received more hits than any other government website last year.

Shortly after its launch in February last year, it experienced temporary problems as millions of people logged on every hour.

The Home Office said at the time it was receiving up to five million hits an hour, or some 75,000 a minute.

Deputy Chief Constable Neil Rhodes, from the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said the website helps "reduce the fear of crime".

He said in areas where crime was taking place, it encouraged the public to support the police with information, and remain watchful "when appropriate".

The website will also map crimes to other locations including airports, airfields, bus and coach stations, ferry terminals, motorway service stations, petrol stations and sports and recreation areas.

Other sites include race tracks, adventure parks, parking areas, higher education buildings, shopping areas, supermarkets, theatres, conference centres, hospitals and prisons.

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