As you may know, the Met Police have just launched their new interactive crime mapping for London. The idea is that you can go online, check out just how crime ridden your hood actually is, and decide where you should move to.
Well, no, actually crime mapping has been copied from the States, where it was a key component in the highly successful policing revolution launched in New York in the early 90s. Over there it proved a vital tool in the direction of police resources to crime hotspots, and in focusing public pressure for action. In other words, it's something we desperately need here.
So congrats to Sir Ian for introducing it.
And in a spirit of thanks and celebration, we asked our man on the Hill to test drive it. Does it correspond to his perception of crime down his own particularly mean streets?
Straightway he was puzzled. On the Met's crime map, Primrose Hill is coloured blue, which means it's a "below average" crime area. But how could that possibly be? Below average crime for an area that's so scary the residents have to hire private security guards?
So he clicked the link to the underlying stats. And here's what he found (the first three columns relate to the 12 months to June 2008, and the second three to the 12 months to June 2007):
Yes, correct. For both 2007 and 2008, his hood (Camden Town with Primrose Hill) had a much higher crime rate than both Camden generally, and the Met as a whole, FOR EVERY SINGLE CATEGORY OF CRIME. Every single one.
So... er... on what basis has the Met categorised the Hill as a below average crime area? And what must the above average crime areas be like?
Sheer blithering incompetence or outright lies?
Frankly, it makes little difference.
But how much longer must we tolerate bungling Blair?