Feeds

Home Office opens up anonymised crime data API

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.