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Home Office expands project which names and shames criminals and compares crime figures
A Government crime mapping website, similar to a scheme pioneered by West Yorkshire Police, has been expanded, giving the nation the chance to compare crime levels in their district with other areas.
The Home Office says the website, police.uk, will give voters more tools to hold Police and Crime Commissioners, which replace police authorities next month, to account.
The ‘Compare your Area’ tool will also allow visitors to see how recorded crime rates have changed over the past three years.
And in the coming months the Government will look to boost transparency even further, uploading headshots of convicted criminals on police.uk so that the public can see justice being done.
The Home Office highlights West Yorkshire Police, which already allows the public to see images of convicted criminals with its In The Dock pilot scheme.
The trailblazing project, naming and shaming criminals, has previously been held up as an example of good practice by a Home Office Minister.
Among the Bradford cases currently featuring on In The Dock are Laura Spinks, 26, of Buttershaw, who was jailed for 18 months for stealing from her employee; Waqar Ali, 18, of Horton Bank Top, who was given a suspended sentence and banned for dangerous driving; Stephen Holdroyd, 28, of Shipley, imprisoned for 18 months for drugs offences; and Imran Ashraf, 24, of Great Horton, jailed for three years and four months for drugs offences.
Other tools which will be added to police.uk website include:
- the ability to ‘draw your area’, which enables residents to search for crime information on a specific location;
- email alerts so that visitors can receive automatic notifications of updates or if an arrest on their street has led to a criminal sentence;
- the ability to compare the number of crimes between villages, estates or other ‘drawn’ areas.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “We are working closely with the Home Office on the project to incorporate In The Dock on to the police.uk site. The aim of the project is to make the criminal justice system more transparent to the public, who may often hear about an initial crime but rarely find out what the end result is.
“We believe it's important to give information to the public at a very local level, but conscious of the needs to balance that with the issues around personal data.”