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back to article Home Office crime maps go to street-level detail

The Home Office has announced the rollout of a new online crime-map service for England and Wales that ministers describe as "more comprehensive than any other scheme" in the world. The new mapping service offers crimes arranged by street, rather than merely by ward or subdistrict as before. Screengrab of the Home Office crime …

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Boffin

At last...

... A tool to allow criminals to select the areas most worth committing crime in,

It uses Google Maps (so that's why the Govt is cosying up to them and allows them to get away with their tax avoidance through Ireland).

Unfortunately, I'm running a Microsoft OS which manages to prevent me from succesfully accessing Google Maps from *any* of the browsers on my PC.

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WTF?

Eh?

Are you using a different Microsoft OS on your PC than the rest of the world?

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FAIL

Servers

There are (since you don't seem to be aware of it), several versions of Windows.

The server versions often don't support widely-used programs.

And before you complain that people shouldn't be running a browser on a server, consider that there are reasons to run Windows Server other than as a server. You just haven't met them.

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FAIL

Google and Tax Avoidance

Well Mr GrahamS, where do you think that Microsoft has its European HQ then?

Lo and behold, it is The Republic of Ireland.

Where do you think their US HQ is for Tax purposes?

Nevada.

Whgat state has 0% Corporate Income Tax rate?

That same Nevada.

I'm not saying that Google is all goody two shoes but many US companies use the ROI as their base simply because of Tax issues. Adobe is another one that springs to mind.

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WTF?

Re: Servers

I use Windows 2008 R2 on my personal laptop and I can assure you it runs widely-used programs without a hitch. And rare programs too.

Even Steam and other gaming platforms.

Usually what happens is that the installer check the Windows version and refuses to install, so you have to hack the installer. No big deal. That was a bigger problem on Windows 2003 which had a different kernel version from XP, but now Windows Servers use the same kernel as the Windows "Clients".

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FAIL

So....

...a burglary at a remote building/farmhouse will be flagged as being "near".

No privacy breach at all then...

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FAIL

out of town

street-level mapping may preserve anonymity in metropolitan areas, but what about farming areas?

If you live in Guthram Gowt, and it says 1 violent crime (it doesn't today) then the equation is simple. Either you were beating your wife or the bloke over the road was. If it wasn't you, then he has lost anonymity.

Another instance of the people who run this country thinking that UK == London.

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A website by any other name....

Shouldn't it be called 'crime.uk'?

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Anonymous Coward

meh

I can't really see how this is useful.

Just spent 5 minutes checking out the crime where I live in a large town south of London.

Surprise surprise there is lots of crime (or antisocial behaviour at least, represent). Well that was a useful insight not.

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How many more years before you finally stop mandating titles?

A couple of ways spring to mind. Moving house? Crime levels in the local area are going to be of interest to most people I would have thought. Secondly, this could prove a useful insight to the people who moan about how the police never do anything about the high levels of crime in their locale when in fact nobody actually bothers reporting the crime in the first place - at least this will give an indication of that.

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Unhappy

Or alternatively ...

... it will add an extra level of doubt over whether to call the police about a crime - "How will this affect my house price?". Unintended consequence?

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Can't say I care that much ...

... it isn't exactly Los Angeles round here. It might be interesting, mind, to compare what the police have recorded vs what people know - it would show how seriously they take crime reports.

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WTF?

Did anyone even consider the plight of the property owners?

I imagine there will be many property owners upset at the information displayed as it forces the value of their properties yet lower, as if the banking industry hadn't done enough.

The insurers will love it though, as they will use it, no doubt, to force their premiums further skyward.

Criminals will be able to pick 'quiet' spots where Plod doesn't expect trouble so their escape is almost guranteed.

A winner all round?

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Anonymous Coward

"forces the value of their properties yet lower"

I love it when the property owning classes complain about that. They got their property while it was dirt cheap and now no one should ever be allowed to have cheap property ever again because it would make them feel a little bit sad!

Where did I put my violin...

Don't worry you'll be dead soon and then I'll squat in your house for free. Swings and roundabouts.

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Thumb Up

They got their property while it was dirt cheap

Psychic and an anonymous coward. Skill!

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Grenade

I'll squat in your house for free. Swings and roundabouts....

Ahh the moemories......watching the freeloader fly out of the 1st floor window was worth the cost of the broken glass.

Officer? I went into my house and this man attacked me and in the struggle he went flying....

Roundabouts and slides....

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Anonymous Coward

"property owning classes"

Like people who've worked hard for their 2-bed terraces? Property speculators, developers and landlords without social conscience may be deserving of abuse, but why others? Sounds like you want something for nothing, just don't try to kid yourself you're part of an "alternative society" because you can't be bothered to contribute to this one but are happy to leech off it.

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Oooh such plight

The property owners got places to live. The value of said places becoming less inflated is absolutely no bad thing. What is the problem supposed to be?

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Anonymous Coward

"Sounds like you want something for nothing"

These days every time someone asks for "something they could reasonably afford in a lifetime of hard work" they are accused of wanting "something for nothing".

I guess the squatting joke really hit a nerve with some of you. But squatting is a real problem caused at least partly by a lack of affordable housing. And what is being done about it? Fuck all of any value.

It's easier to stick your head in the sand and assume that the people complaining about affordable housing are just a bunch of vagrant unemployed drug addicts and losers who would never contribute to the economy anyway, not even by accident. And every one of them drives a Lamborghini that they got by cheating the benefits system. It has to be true if it's in the Daily Mail.

When the reality is that they're working the shitty dregs of the employment market for employers who are going to make damn sure that they squeeze every last penny and fire anyone who complains. No doubt the company they work for doesn't pay tax either but there's always plenty of money left over for executive bonuses.

I guess it’s just “one of those things”. One of those things that no one is going to bother doing anything about because they'd sooner die than upset the applecart.

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Re: JaitcH

Iinsurers have already it used it to refuse someone car insurance as there was a car theft on his street in December. He was on the local radio this morning speaking about it.

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FAIL

death to all titles

The journalists might have bothered to see if the real thing worked, it's a fine example of government IT inaction.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: death to all titles

It was working, and then it broke, remarkably, when lots of people went to look at it. Of course this has never happened before.

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Unhappy

Re: death to all titles

"It was working, and then it broke, remarkably, when lots of people went to look at it. Of course this has never happened before."

Well quite, Sarah. The first few launch overload fails can be excused.

But we live in a brave new world, where this marvellous Cloud technology is supposed to make such scaling issues a thing of the past. After all, if the Cloud can't solve this, what can it do?

So the launch fail is actually of interest in of itself: what launch planning did they make (if any)? Are they using a scalable server architecture, or pragmatically not caring about the launch, just so long as it works when the initial fuss had died down?

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WTF?

the pont of it is?

Sod all this 'working, not working' and 'it will affect property prices' -- couldn't they have done something better with the money than piss it way on what appears to be just a distraction from reality.

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title

Attempt One: "There has been a problem and we are looking into it."

Fair enough, launch day overload.

Attempt Two: "Sorry, we couldn't find a policing area that matched your search."

Oh dear.

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"Sorry, we couldn't find a policing area that matched your search."

I also got the message above. Living in Hackney I could very well believe this.

Loved the Tory on R4Today this morning, arguing that the site is working and the callers to the show were wrong. :D

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FAIL

Enter your postcode, town, village or street into the search box below,

Camden, London WC1

Sorry, we couldn't find a policing area that matched your search.

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Shock news - very busy sites *can* work OK

The front page works cos it's being served up from Amazon's systems.

But anything behind it fails as it's on toyware.

So - if the whole site was - let me see - running on Amazon cloudy stuff - it would be working better.

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FAIL

Standard major "Launch" of a Gov website

Step 1 : Spend a fortune on a Web2.x thingamy

Step 2 : Realise you've blown the budget

Step 3 : Rent a low-end VPS from a kiddy host

Step 4: Splash all over the media with a launch date

Step 5 : Leave your audience looking at "Loading" icons or white pages

Step 6 : Audience go away and may come back in a few months if you're lucky

Step 7 : Pats on the back and Martinis all round

Cretins.

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FAIL

Agreed... more detail

Step 1a

Get sold MS system by salesmen in Mercs.

Step 1b

Develop system and do no load testing at all.

Step 1c

Think that just by getting the front page served up by Amazon cloud stuff that the site will be able to handle the load.

£300k for a system which is deeply flawed - makes me want to weep. This happens again and again and again and again - what is the answer?

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Flame

300k?

I'd have done it for a third of that, and it probably would have worked!

where do we apply for government contracts ......

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We all know who's really excited

Insurance groups! Another set of excuses to ramp your premiums to ridiculous levels.

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@Insurance groups

In this brave new world of ubiquitous information access, this kind of problem with groups seeking to exploit ever more information is inevitable. As they say, "Knowledge Is Power" and so everyone who wishes to manipulate others for their own gain, will exploit more knowledge to force people to do what they want.

The answer is to push back. Don't just accept what the insurance agents try to say, haggle with them and if they don't want to give in, then tell them to f*#k off! ... its the meek sheep in this world that allow the manipulators in society to get ever more powerful. If everyone told them no, they would be finished.

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Joke

... and then it died...

Hmm. Seems to be broken, maybe someone stole the server?

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FAIL

Is it me...

...or has this died already?

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No bad thing, linkage onward to press and court reports?

it may become interesting when there is further linkage.

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Well now, that's a surprise...

it's slow as hell and keeps returning half loaded pages.

Has there ever been a gov IT project that hasn't fallen over on its first day?

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Stop

Unsurprisingly

The radio was reporting it as being unable to cope with the demand this morning.

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Passing the buck & where's the choice

We don't want to be told how bad our streets & schools are in the name of choice just for the government of the day attempt to make them all pretty much equal in terms of quality & safety (towards the top end of the quality scale that is).

For them to print tables & point the finger and Heads of School / Police etc is just passing the buck.

Plus unless you have the cash to move area or school there is no choice just a depressing feeling of impotence for those who have to put up with the status quo

Just take responsibility & do something about it

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Died already

No surprise there then!

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well no police state here

Apparently despite living a mile from the police station, and a couple of miles form an RAF base, it couldn't find a policing area matching my post code! Sort of explains why I have never seen any bobbies on the beat round here. Where am I? West London!

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FAIL

Money well spent.. not

I don't usually post, but this really irritates me. When everyone is trying to save money they spend £300,000 on a website which doesn't even work and keeps responding with "Website error". This data might have been available before, but making it so easily accessible is going to have a negative effect on house prices.

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What is wrong with a negative effect on house prices?

If I'm going to move into an area with a high crime rate I want to know about it, and I want the price of the house discounted accordingly - it's no different to knowing whether the area suffers from subsidence or whether there's a pending planning application to build a supermarket next door.

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The thing is ...

... what does "nearby" mean? I can think of several areas where I live where there is a less salubrious area next to a very nice one. The first may have high crime rates (usually drugs related), whereas the second doesn't have much a problem at at all.

Alternatively, I can think of an area where there were a couple of very nasty domestic incidents - no-one else was harmed, or likely to be. Should they affect the insurance premiums and house prices for all those "nearby"?

We should be finding a way to reduce house prices, but I'm not sure this is a good way to do it.

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FAIL

Hello, Hello, Hello, what's goin' on here, then

The preview might work as advertised, but the live site doesn't. Under IE8 it is a slow as a three legged police dog, and returns a blank screen. With Firefox it is also quite slow but occassionally returns an error that it "Can't find a policing district for this area". Given that I live in Theresa May's constituency, I find that unlikely.

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a-z 1-9

No doubt others have got here first

1) Site doesn't work on launch day, no doubt due to huge amount of press coverage and high demand..

2)) Govt keeps talking, recession, cuts, etc. etc. then spends 300k on project that is very much a gimmick and non essential. (and can't handle demand on launch day)

3) Effect of house prices.. may discourage reporting of minor crimes by homeowners.

that is all

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Site not working

In a cloud of "excitement" I went to the police,uk website but found I couldn't retrieve any results.The home page comes up, I entered my post code and clicked on search, but get nothing back - no error message or apparent response. . Tried it using both IE and Chrome, and on my iPhone in case of a network issue.

Perhaps it's down due to customer demand!

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FAIL

Another excellent public sector IT system

No matter what I enter - my town, street address, postcode - it tells me it cannot find a matching area.

Doesn't anyone know how to do testing in public sector IT?

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Unhappy

Broken Already!?

Just tried to look up mine and my parents streets (50 miles apart) and get the same error:

Website error

There has been an error with the website and we're currently looking into it.

Another example of a failed Gov IT Website - maybe??

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FAIL

Anarchy in the UK

When I got past the internal server errors and the blank screens that claimed to be "done" I finally got: "Sorry, we couldn't find a policing area that matched your search."

"Deputy Chief Constable Neil Rhodes, speaking for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said the service would "help to build community involvement in policing"."

I see what Neil Rhodes means, I guess the community needs to police itself as no other bugger seems to be doing it.

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