Monday, February 20, 2012

UK crime statistics revisited

What a difference 2 years make! In November 2009 I reviewed on this blog the then just released official map of crimes and antisocial behaviour from the National Policing Improvement Agency. I was not overly impressed with the overall functionality of the site and presentation of neighbourhood boundaries on the map. However, the most recent update of the application is a great improvement on the original, well deserving a mention.

The key change is that rather than providing statistics on various types of crimes for many neighbourhoods at the same time (using differently shaded boundaries akin to thematic map), now the information is presented for a single neighbourhood, or an area of 1.5km in radius from user selected point, or individual streets within that radius. The information is updated automatically as users select different types of crimes and/or zoom in and out on the map. Information is refreshed very fast and users can identify approximate locations of all types of crimes, down to street level.

Yet to be implemented improvement is that, from May, users of the crime map will be able to see what happened after a crime was committed, what action was taken by the police and whether anyone was eventually convicted for the crime.

Congratulations to the development team who managed to totally redefine the original concept and develop a very innovative presentation format for a very complex set of statistics. It makes the whole application very simple to use yet very informative. The original site has been visited over 450 million times and is by far and away the most popular UK government website. I have no doubt that the updated version will be even more popular.

First spotted on Google Maps Mania

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