UCL News


UCL in the News: Can London's new mayor really put crime on the map?

8 May 2008

Michael Cross, 'The Guardian' Newly elected London mayor Boris Johnson says he will require the Metropolitan Police to create Britain's most detailed map of reported crimes.

He also promised to make data available to groups such as local Neighbourhood Watches to create their own crime maps. …

"Perceptions of crime levels are often 10 to 100 times greater than actual levels, so maps can have a positive reassuring message," says Spencer Chainey of the UCL Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science. …

Chainey says the technology is available to present crime data in an intuitive educational way. He hopes the mayor will consider UCL's London Profiler 3D map londonprofiler.org. However one obstacle will be to change the mindset of police forces, which have been cautious about releasing data. "I don't think they've really sat down and thought through the power of this information." …