I’ve been looking at the new maps of reported crime on Wiltshire Constabulary’s website. What have I learnt? I’ve been reminded of the public sector’s inability to produce good interactive sites — the only way to get the maps to show different statistics is to repeatedly toggle their display on and off, and navigation is painfully slow — but have learnt very little about crime levels.
I’m left wondering just what the statistics cover. For example, there is, according to the maps, very little violent crime in Swindon Town Centre, so does that mean that the drunken violence in Fleet Street that is so often reported in the press is not significant, or is in some other category? There’s nothing on the Wiltshire police website that explains, and the explanation on the Home Office website is less than helpful. Then there’s the matter of how much reported crime actually gets recorded….
It may not have cost much (though given the record of public sector computing projects, I doubt that) but I’d rather the time and money wasted on producing these uninformative maps was spent on actual policing.