Crime Mapping – not quite as simple as you might think

My old employers, MapInfo have just published a good Best Practice Guide on publishing crime maps.

Sir Norman Bettison, from the UK Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPo), is quoted:
“My own police authority in West Yorkshire started two years ago to make available crime mapping data to keep the public informed about local incidents and trends. This fulfils the key responsibility to give information to communities in order that they can see the real level of crime and help the police address it.”
PBMI have published their Best Practice Guide because
“There is, however, some considerable concern amongst geographical information experts about how this crime mapping initiative is put into practical action. As with any such project, there are very considerable challenges in producing the desired outcome – objective information which truly informs the citizen about crime in their area. There are issues of data quality, data comprehensiveness, how crime is recorded, the axis between reported crime and its attribution to particular criminals, and so on.”
The guide then sets outside a lot of useful advice for Police Forces which those who seem to think that the only thing preventing the publication of crime statistics is Ordnance Survey’s licensing or police reluctance to be held accountable would do well to consider.
I guess this is the work of Ian Broadbent, who used to be head of analysis at GMP. Well done Ian a valuable contribution.