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News - 14 October 2012

Flagship crime map website 'less useful than a newsletter'

Members of the public would rather find out about crime in their neighbourhoods through a local paper or a simple police newsletter than a flagship Government website, according to an official report.

Surveys carried out by the Home Office found that many people did not want to wade through the large amounts of raw data on the street-by-street crime maps.

Some said the www.police.uk service, which has cost £500,000 so far, was a poor use of money in a time of austerity and that it could be better spent on recruiting more police officers.

New features that show “justice outcomes” only confirmed users’ suspicions that very few criminals go to jail, while one force’s real-time tracking of PCs merely showed “they don’t seem to be doing a great deal”.

The conclusions of the Home Office-commissioned study, carried out by researchers at the Policy Studies Institute and the Police Foundation, will be seen as a blow to the Government’s “transparency agenda”, which involves making far more official data available to the public online.

For the full story from The Telegraph, click here

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