Journal Article

Engagement, Empowerment and Transparency: Publishing Crime Statistics using Online Crime Mapping

Spencer Chainey and Lisa Tompson

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 6, issue 3, pages 228-239
Published in print September 2012 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online March 2012 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/police/pas006
Engagement, Empowerment and Transparency: Publishing Crime Statistics using Online Crime Mapping

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Since December 2008, police forces in the UK have published crime statistics using an online crime mapping tool (www.police.uk). The drivers behind this were to help improve the credibility and confidence that the public had in police-recorded crime levels, address perceptions of crime, promote community engagement and empowerment, and support greater public service transparency and accountability. This article captures the policy rationale behind this initiative, and draws together the research evidence on its impact. We argue that many of the original objectives relating to improving engagement and empowerment have yet to be realized, poor cartographic discipline has led to misinterpretation and confusion, and that the initiative instead has primarily become a tool for promoting political transparency. We suggest that future focus should be on improving the quality and cartographic visualization of the published information alongside the integration of social media functionality to enrich local dialogue on crime issues.

Journal Article.  6578 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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