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May hails launch of crime maps

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A street-by-street guide to crime in England and Wales will help people to find out what is really going on in their area, home secretary Theresa May has said.

The crime maps, where the public can search for what has been happening on or near their street, will give people the information they need to hold their local police to account and to help bring down crime in their area, Mrs May said.

It is the first time such detailed crime maps have been available for an entire country anywhere in the world.

People will be able to find out which crimes have taken place on or near their street within the last month and which officers are responsible for their area by visiting the site at www.police.uk, which launches at midnight.

Crime trends will also be established as the site develops and this could be extended to include details on the outcomes of court cases in the future.

Information on local police appeals and the next police community meeting will also be published alongside the crime maps.

Mrs May, left, said: “I think the public reaction will be positive. I think people are going to welcome the fact they can really see what’s happening with crime in their area, not just on their street but in their neighbourhood.

“I think they will feel a greater connection with the police, with much more information about where they can go to, and who they can work with.

“I think that over time, it will have an impact on crime. This is about fighting crime together.”

The home secretary denied that making such detailed information available would drive down house prices in a particular area.

“It’s not the existence of a map on a website that affects it,” she said.

“This is giving people a real tool, real power to see that something is being done about crime in their area.

“This doesn’t make them frightened, it actually makes them feel a part of what is happening.

“This will give them the real facts and figures. This will make the police more accountable. It gives people a real tool to hold the police to account.”

Mrs May said the site, which cost £300,000 to develop, came “from a real feeling that people have lost confidence in national crime figures”.

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