Crime data: Ultimate guide for risk managers
Crime data ultimate guide for risk managers looks at why crime data is available and, when and where to get it. Importantly, we also look closely at the publicly available data found on the Police.uk website and assess its value.
Introduction to crime data
The UK police were the first police force in the world to begin recording and publishing crime data; the practice goes back to the early 1800s. But, data became far more accessible with the launch of the police.uk website in 2011.
Other countries such as the USA publish crime data. However, authorities such as the FBI publish results more slowly than the UK’s police.uk website. Therefore, for real-time USA crime reports check out Local Police and Sheriff’s Department websites or LexisNexis Community Crime Map.
Police.uk website crime data
The police.uk website provides an interface (UK police API), that allows the automatic download of data. However, the data has its limitations:
Data is historic
Data is published approximately two months after it was recorded.
The volume is data is considerable, about 7GB. Therefore, a download of data is significant and time-consuming.
Crime data lacks detail
Data is in summary format only; it gives period, location, volume and category only.
Location of crime is approximate
The exact location of crime is withheld. Instead, a street is associated with a crime that occurred in that vicinity.