This post is shamelessly taken from somewhere else and expanded slightly.
This morning, well last night actually, www.police.uk went live.
Police.uk allows you to look at crime data by place name postcode or address, so really handy if you are looking to move, but also quite a handy content idea for your Hyperlocal site. It can also give a maybe unfair view of an area.
By entering a postcode you get several views available:
Just that, an overview on one page that shows you the local policing unit, along with, phone number, E-mail address and pictures of the officers & PCSOs (if they are available from the force site). A twitter feed from the force, a crime map, details of the next event in the area sucha as PACT meetings, and links to the main force site, micro-sites, FaceBook etc.
A nice interactive Google map with all the crime mapped for you. Each pin is clickable and give you information about the crime, obviously no personal details are given and the map point is only so accurate. You can drag the pin around to get the data in a 2.5k radius from a particular point, your house, your school, office etc. You can then select different types of crime and look at those in isolation. It is a real shame you can’t then embed this map on your own site or even grab a link to it.
Meet The Team
A bigger version of the NPU information on the overview page, this shows all the NPU officers with contact details, a map showing the NPU area and the station they work from. This is driven from the local forces, so some are better than others.
Again an expanded version of the information available on the overview page with details of meetings and events.
Information & advice
Links out to other resources about minimising the risk of crime etc.
Data, you can download the data sets from. Data is available by street or neighbourhood for each force.
Data by neighbourhood will give you a csv with these headings:
- All crime and ASB
- Anti-social behaviour
- Vehicle crime
- Violent crime
- Other crime
Data by street gives you:
- Reported by
- Falls within
- Crime type
All the data is licensed under the Open Government Licence. I’m going to play with the CSV files later today to see what I can make, as I’m pretty sure many others will be doing today. As @stef has just pointed out you can hack the URL to pull the data for a lat long pair without downloading the data set.
Apps, not really apps, just a link to the mobile site www.police.uk/m/ which will use the GPS location data from your phone. You can suggest ideas and grab an API key to make your own applications using the data. For some reason, you have to wait to be approved before you get your API key. I’m not sure if they will link to any apps created to use their data on here eventually or just any ‘official’ ones.
It is a good start, the website is easy to use for people of all abilities and the raw data is available to play with for the more technically minded.
On the down side the data looks like it will be released in batches monthly, I am assuming that the data will only be released for mapping at a certain point in the investigation and not ‘as it happens’. There are no RSS feeds or embed me links for anything. It would be really nice if you could grab the map for your town, village NPU etc and stick it in your hyperlocal site directly. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time, days or possibly hours, before we see different uses of the raw data emerging using the tools available on-line.
The biggest drawback I have found is that you can only have the data on the site by NPU, you can’t filter it by station, town or even a division, nor can you do it by the whole force. I would like to see all the crime for the Stoke-on-Trent Division of Staffordshire Police, if I use ‘Stoke-on-Trent’ as a search term I get given the data for the NPU for Hanley, which is the city centre for Stoke-on-Trent.
There have been some people out on the interwebs, complaining about the reported £300,000 it cost to develop the site, as this flies in the face of true open data. I can see the point but I think £300k is a small amount to pay but it does give a stable base for the casual user and a repository for the data sets. Developers & code monkeys can now do the real open data stuff and create stuff from the data sets.
As I say it is a good start and very local but with a few more hours of development on the site they could have done a lot more with the data for the casual user. If I were scoring the site I think a deserved 7/10 from me.
Posted from Atherstone, England, United Kingdom.