"the FBI, U.S. Customs, and other American law-enforcement agencies have been wary for years about sharing details of some transatlantic criminal investigations for fear they would end up slapped on the front page of News of the World, The Sun, and other newspapers at the heart of the scandal engulfing Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, several U.S. officials tell The Daily Beast."
A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “The introduction of a series of crime mapping systems, with the latest national system launched in January 2011, negates any suggestion that we withhold crimes from the public. The numbers, categories and locations of crime are available for everyone to see.”
"Results from cases heard at Birmingham Magistrates' Court are being put on Twitter by West Midlands Police. ... Ch Supt Stephen Anderson said there had been a decline in court reporting in recent years and the initiative was designed to make the public more aware of the cases police deal with. The force is sending its own staff into court to cover the cases."
Beware the "default location" fallacy in crime data: "A Sussex Police spokesman said: ‘Sussex Police has been thorough in its recording and these high figures relate to hoax calls – mainly received by mobile phone – which have been recorded at those sites because there was no alternative geographical location.'"
"Spatial visualisation and analysis is enormously difficult to get right and even thoughtfully-designed visualisations require a fair bit of understanding to interpret correctly. ... The newspapers that have run lists of the most crime-ridden streets in the country today might want to consider the fact that longer streets will on average have more crime than shorter streets, just to take one simple example of a relevant factor that’s not accounted for if you want to visualise this data in that way."
Grey Cardigan applauds Greater Manchester Police's Twitter incident feed but asks the correct question of chief constable Peter Fahy: "Why not set up a permanent, 24-hour feed of police activity to the Oldham-based Manchester Evening News and its remaining associated weeklies? Then you might not have to stage a publicity stunt the next time the government casts a stern eye over your finances."
"Records obtained using Freedom of Information requests show that the police in England and Wales fired or threaten to fire Tasers against at least 142 under-18s in the 20 months up to the end of August 2009."
Heather Brooke on Newswipe on attribution and sourcing and accountablity in British journalism.
Henry Porter: "The abuse of section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is an established part of British life and is affecting the work of professional photographers and journalists, as well as the pleasure of amateurs. It is an outrageous infringement of an elementary liberty and it is something that we all should be concerned about, because this particular battle has symbolic significance."
Paul Lewis: "While the use of anti-terrorist stop and search powers has fallen in recent months, a succession of high-profile incidents involving the use of the legislation against photographers has embarrassed senior officers, who privately concede that the rank and file are misusing their powers on the ground."
"Using the Freedom of Information Act, reporters from the Oxford Mail discovered there were over 6,000 crimes reported to Thames Valley Police in Oxfordshire during a four-week period in July. During the same period, only 22 were then put out to the public"
"The maps will only display offences that are reported to the police, and reported crime figures are notoriously unreliable. According to estimates, at least 60% of crime goes unreported, and some critics think the figure could be much higher. ... According to criminologists, areas with the most serious crime problems have the lowest reporting rates."
"The purpose of this site is to help show where crime is occurring at a local neighbourhood level. It has been developed by the MPS in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police Authority and the Mayor of London."
"It's a pretty decent first effort, in that the data is down to a nicely local level (typically half a dozen streets) and aggregates geographically (so you can see basic crime data for the streets near you, for your ward, for your borough and for London as a whole)."