One of the best crime statistics resources to use is Police.co.uk which can show you crime in your area or any area you want in England and Wales and gives you a real idea of crime in your area.
This makes England and Wales among the first countries in the world to release street by street information on every crime and act of anti-social behaviour reported to police, it is a very valuable resource allow you to be aware of what threats you may be facing.
The police.co.uk website allows you to search for a postcode or address and learn what crimes have been committed down to a range of 12 houses, which gives you an indepth analysis of what is going on where you live.
The infomation available can also be accessed from internet ready mobile phones using GPS technology, which pinpoint crimes that have taken place wherever the user is.
This is perhaps one of the best possible applications for this kind of data which allows you to be aware of what is going on wherever you may be traveling to.
The raw data will be made freely available to programmers and will be updated on a monthly basis so Protect Yourself will aim to integrate something into the website in due course.
This kind of information has opened the way for smartphone applications which will find the statistically safest way to walk home and the streets and shortcuts to avoid which may be beneficial so some though of course common sense would have to be used also.
The reports that have been made available also reveal the true extent of anti-social behaviour across the country for the first time, previously such data was hard to get hold of due to the many different police forces and the difficulty in gaining accurate data.
To put the information into perspective Last December alone there were 193,685 reports in England and Wales – across the year this would equate to 2.3m complaints if averaged throughout the year. Crime can sometimes be higher during the winter due to the darker evenings though this is not an absolute rule.
London had the highest number of reports of violence with over 34,000 but of the 4,084 crime reports recorded by Cumbria Constabulary, more than half (2,207) were complaints about anti-social behaviour. Ministers believe that the information will become an important tool which will let communities hold their local police to account.
However, critics warn it could potentially allow individual crime victims to be identified and increase vigilantism. Others say it could increase fear of crime and have a negative effect on house prices.
The scheme is part of a wider attempt to release vast swathes of information held by central and local government which can be adapted by software developers to provide useful information to the public.
Last year they began publishing all Government expenditure over £500 while the NHS is increasingly providing raw performance information. In London, real-time releases of transport information has allowed one developer to release an application to wake you up early if there are delays on your chosen route to work.
Under the crime scheme, each offence has been sorted into one of six broad categories – violent crime, burglary, robbery, vehicle crime, anti-social behaviour and other crime – partly to help protect the privacy and identity of victims.
Sex crimes have been included in the “other” category, along with theft and shoplifting, to help prevent victims from being identified.
The scheme cost £300,000 to develop and is entirely based on data already collected by the police. Over the coming months, the amount of information on the site is likely to increase.
Policing Minister Nick Herbert said the Government was determined to provide as much detailed information as possible. “We can’t sweep crime under the carpet,” he said. “We have to tell the truth about crime and where it is happening and give the information and the power to the public. ”
It appears that open crime statistics are a very encouraging signal that there is a committed and continuing fight against all kind of crime in the UK.
Below is a map showing a map of burglary in the UK.