Feeds

Home Office opens up anonymised crime data API

Please play with our less sensitive bits, UK gov tells mobe devs

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Crime-conscious citizens can now view the raw data behind official stats website police.uk after the Home Office made the data freely available to download.

The police.uk site, which got off to a shaky start at its 2011 launch, offers policing and crime information for local areas, as well as a Google Maps-based visualisation of crime data at street level.

As well as adding new categories to the information available, the update by the Home Office allows users to download full datasets in CSV format, as well as directly accessing the police.uk API.

“By continuing to make policing more accessible to the public through directly elected police and crime commissioners and crime mapping, the government is driving forward even greater transparency across the criminal justice system, reconnecting police with the communities that they serve,” said policing and criminal justice minister Damian Green in a canned statement.

Your correspondent had a quick look at the new data, which claims to have been anonymised “to protect victims”. While this has been done to a basic degree – dates of crimes are limited to just month and year, rather than day, and actual crime reference numbers are replaced with a unique one-way hash – your hack found at least one identifiable assault which appeared to have been classified as anti-social behaviour, rather than a violent crime.

Police bloggers such as Inspector Gadget (who mysteriously deleted his popular blog about frontline policing earlier this year) and Sgt Ellie Bloggs have long complained of pressure from management to meet arbitrary targets when classifying crimes.

The government hopes that developers will use the data to develop other services, such as mobile apps, and encourages devs to submit new apps via the official portal at http://www.police.uk/apps.

One of the apps listed on the portal, “Crime Sounds”, promises to blurt out an alarm if a crime is committed within 50 metres of the phone's location, giving rise to the spectacle of people bimbling down the road suddenly sprinting for cover as their phones emit an ear-splitting shriek of terror. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.