Police website to reveal crime hotspots

 

A website allowing victims of street crime to formally report and
map where in the capital they were robbed or assaulted was launched
today.

Streetviolence.org provides a Google map of London on which users can plot exactly where they were targeted by criminals and give a description of the incident.

It is hoped the independent initiative, launched by charity Witness Confident, will help warn local people about specific crime hotspots, encourage witnesses of crimes to come forward, allow victims to thank Good Samaritans and let users track arrests and prosecutions of law-breakers.

However, Scotland Yard has refused to endorse the site, saying using a website to report crimes could delay investigations.

Witness Confident's director Guy Dehn said the new site "cuts the initial hassle and frustration that puts many victims off reporting the crime to begin with".

He told the BBC: "As a way of telling the police you can help, the site is a welcome alternative to hanging behind at the scene, standing around at a police station or waiting in line at a call centre.

"This matters as there's little chance the police can make our streets safer if witnesses don't come forward,"

Mr Dehn added: "One of the things that has been lost in recent years is engagement with police....If you want to help police, this allows you to contact them 24/7 at the convenience of your computer."

Scotland Yard said it had been liaising with the charity for more than a year after expressing interest in some of its early proposed functions.

But officials reached a decision not to support the launch earlier this month.

"We do not endorse the reporting of street crime through the MPS website or any other third party website," the Met said in a statement.

"This is predominantly due to concerns over victim safety and the importance of deploying officers in person as quickly as possible to this scenes of serious street crime.

It added: "Street crime is taken very seriously by the MPS, and in order to reduce street crime and catch offenders, the MPS urges victims to contact police in the quickest way possible by calling 999 or speaking to an officer on patrol nearby."

The force said it will continue to monitor the website and is open to exploring any initiatives to help reduce crime and catch criminals.

Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said he hoped the website "progresses in its aim to encourage greater on-line reporting and facilitating greater information sharing amongst victims, witnesses and the police".

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all