New Website Allows Viewers To Find Out Crime Levels In Their Locality

Being a student at Nottingham University means we are all too aware of Nottingham’s infamous reputation for crime. Whether this reputation is just or not, the well-known moniker of ‘Shottingham’, the notorious Kimbolton Avenue and the ominous stories of Lenton laptop burglaries leave a lasting impression.

Now, though, a new police initiative means that people living in can track crime in their local area. The website (www.police.uk) was originally formed to reassure the British public of their safety and welfare as well as to inform them of levels of crime in the United Kingdom. It works by categorising areas of the UK into zones of high, above average, average, below average and low crime rates. This technology also provides the user with the option to compare the crime rates of different boroughs across Britain. It offers details of recent crimes including what type of crime was committed and the whereabouts of the crime. This information is separated into several categories including burglary, robbery, vehicle crime, violence, anti-social behaviour and other crime. ‘Other crime’, however, remains a particularly ambiguous label.

Considering that 1,542 crimes had been reported in the last 3 months of 2010 in Nottingham, with 524 of these the result of anti-social behaviour, there is clear evidence that Nottingham is still a city battling against crime. A site such as this can provide a reminder of this unfortunate truth to those living in the area, while hopefully encouraging safer living. The site usefully also pinpoints the location of local police stations for those in need.

The site is proving to be popular – the sheer number of visitors (reportedly 75,000 hits every sixty seconds) has caused it to crash on a few occasions. The question may be asked whether this website is really encouraging awareness, safety and security, or whether it just exacerbates concern and provides an outlet for curiosity.

Hannah Pupkewitz

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