Police Crime Maps available

Police crime mapAfter a bleak start where the demand crashed the servers, the police crime maps are now accessible.

I think these will really change the way smart people look for a house. Whilst before you could tour an area at weekends at night to see how much activity there was, you now get an idea of how much actual anti-social behaviour there is now.
It does only show reported crime though and there is some worry that people will stop reporting crime in order to make their area look better. However I think this is self-defeating. If you have a problem with anti-social behaviour it’s often evident. From groups of youths hanging about, graffiti, to litter and broken glass. A wise house buyer will already have been pricing up car and home insurance before moving too – that way you get no surprises at all.
I think it’s a positive thing as it really shows the detail you need to allow you to be prepared for any problems. If you see one street has a high anti-social problem then when you drive down it you might realise it’s got a corner shop where kids hang out on. This might be a problem if you live near the shop but streets a bit further away will probably be fine!
I hope these maps will actually encourage people to report crime and get villains locked up. Often it’s just one person who can cause lots of problems and once they’re dealt with you get peace and quiet and a lot less crime.
When you’re buying a hosue though it will allow you to see a snap shot of crime only – but if you print out (or screen grab and save the images) on a regular basis you’ll build up a more complete picture of what crime is in an area. One bad month doesn’t mean it’s a bad area, it might have just been a one off incident causing the issues.
As with all major purchases buying a house is a huge decision and not one to be rushed into lightly. If you’re buying a house or about to put an offer in, then look at the crime maps, and the cost of insurance there. Compare where you live now and see whether it’s more or less. Perhaps keep looking and don’t rush into buying that house now, but wait a month and look at the next month’s crime data too.
Some crimes happen because of people not taking proper precautions. A house with an alarm and locked up each time you go out is less likely to be broken into. A car left on the drive with the engine running is more likely to be stolen then if you sit in the car whilst waiting for the windows to demist.
Look for areas that are in home watch schemes too – or consider starting one. Sometimes something as simple as neighbours getting together can start to make a difference to an area.

This entry was posted in General and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.