Freesteel Blog » Crime mapping press release circus

Crime mapping press release circus

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 at 11:02 am Written by:

Everyone is overwhelmed by the new police crime mapper this morning, which cost £300,000 to develop, according to the BBC.

Readers with a memory of more than a hamster will recall the announcement in January 2009 where all the police forces had made their own individual crime mappers.

And how I *reported* that the Metropolitan police had spend £300,000 on their single force version, including £134,000 for AKAMI facility for web-hits to be ‘held’ at high use times so that the website didn’t crash when it was launched, because they had so little confidence in their contractors Cable&Wireless to deliver a functioning website for the money.

Their website is at least still in operation.

In October 2009 I *reported* on the National crime mapper technology launched that day by the Policing and Crime Minister David Hanson:

BBC: So the scheme is this on-line crime mapping is obviously popular, it keeps crashing
Hanson: Yes it is popular. We’ve had an enormous number of hits due to the publicity, but I assure people that on a normal day people will be able to access it really easily and it will really help what’s happening in your area right down to the ward level and the streets where you live.

This was built by Rock Kitchen Harris who had won about 30 of the contracts for the local police forces, so it shouldn’t have cost as much as it did to stitch it all together.

But that was then. Here’s what that 2009 link looks like today on 1 February 2011:

Obviously everyone has been so impressed by the capabilities of the contractors Rock Kitchen Harris to deliver a good website that here we are again with a big song and dance over a website that has crashed during the launch of version 2 (though no one seems to notice that), which appears to have deployed map clustering technology rather than their crappy Bing tiles.

I can’t say any more about it as I can’t get a result from it:

And anyway I’ve got other things to do today. I do intend to find out if this map was built using from the same contract as October 2009, or if they have been given another £300,000 for this piece of work.

Oh, and to anyone who thinks that aggregating police data into these point numbered clusters is a big deal, it appears to me that Cleveland Police managed to do this for £27,513 about two years ago.

Now, it’s not perfect, but I do know which software/procurement team I’d take advice from if I were a government minister wanting to implement any sort of crime mapper technology.

But they’re not going to because the news media is two busy slathering over the story of the day, led by the nose like pigs on a string and incapable to do any proper research or memory test into even a front-line head-line story that is all over the airwaves today like a bad rash.

What a load of bollocks.


  • 1. Tweets that mention Frees&hellip replies at 1st February 2011, 6:59 pm :

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Hack de Overheid, Russell Garner, Jeroen Carelse, Sym Roe, Richard Pope and others. Richard Pope said: .goatchurch on crime mapping: […]

  • 2. Phil Brylowski replies at 2nd February 2011, 5:03 pm :

    Why not just let an aggregator site handle this, along with all the other data about your city? started as a Google map api experiment to show crime in Chicago, and has now spread to about a dozen major cities, and aggregates all kinds of information. I don’t think it costs the cities a dime, other than access to their data.

  • 3. Ashley Firth replies at 3rd February 2011, 8:43 am :

    Beatcrime ( ) is a West Yorkshire Police site, not Cleveland.

  • 4. Stephen replies at 3rd February 2011, 11:24 am :

    yeah.. a decent computing science Dept. would get a few MSc/PhD students to do it for a project, use existing open source tools and host it from an Amazon cloud for a few quid a day.


  • 5. knowwhere » Blog Ar&hellip replies at 5th February 2011, 7:43 pm :

    […] with Rock Kitchen Harris, the advertising agency who built the site including The Register and Freesteel. Incidentally, did anyone spot the ITT for this site? I wonder who else bid and what kind of […]

  • 6. Ben Harrow replies at 1st July 2011, 2:02 pm :

    I’m currently doing a poll on subject of these crime maps, so if anyone is interested:

    I think the worst part is that they are taking down now that the nationwide crime maps have launched :/.

    It’s not even close to a good enough replacement.

  • 7. The Government want to ma&hellip replies at 11th July 2011, 4:16 pm :

    […] National Crime Maps were slated by critics and the data used was said to be near impossible to extract and use in a constructive way. It will […]

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