Thursday, May 29, 2008

Crime mapping

Boris Johnson's proposal to publish detailed maps of reported crime in London strikes me as a sensible idea. Highlighting dangerous areas should focus the public's mind to be more careful in those places and be useful for police when assessing how much manpower to deploy and it would be interesting to see how quickly the crime levels come down as a result. The privacy watchdog claims that such maps could breach data protection laws but it is not obvious to me why this should be the case, after all, every time a crime is reported on tv, the location of it is published. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors is complaining that the maps could cause house prices in those areas to collapse but there's still such demand for property in London that it is doubtful that they would fall that much when in all probability the prices in those areas already reflect the level of crime.


Blogger kinglear said...

As an economist, I can tell you you are correct in saying that the house prices in any given area will already reflect crime. Of course, each house will reflect a whole lot of different things, but the level of crime will be factored in. Strangely, some of the worst affected areas are those with the highest prices. After all, what's the point of breaking into a house with nothing but an analogue TV when in Chelsea you might get away with oh, say a flat screen.

5:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm.. Not convinced totally. It is a bit like the story about different life expectancy in different parts of the West Country. Low in Bristol, high in East Devon, Low in Plymouth.

I suspect that simply upping sticks at age seventy and moving to the high life expectancy area isn't going to affect one at an individual level.

And I suspect Beryl Cook's take on it would be to trade a few years for a wilder, happier more raucous life.

I agree that the increase in knife crime is a worry, but one could move to suburbia and die of boredom..

6:51 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Hi KL and Anon - I heard a snippet about it on the radio this morning. Somebody said that in the US where they have these maps, the only practical consequence for residents in a high gun crime area is that they move the beds away from the windows so they're not caught in any cross-fire!

7:41 am  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

Sometimes shock tactics are needed to get the right response and action needed.

10:18 am  

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