Tories to map crime

Martin Stabe has flagged up an article from Tory HQ outlining their proposals to launch uniform crime mapping across all UK police authorities, should they win the next election.

There are already examples of crime mapping in the UK. One of the comments on the article in question points to West Yorkshire Police’s site, while the Manchester Evening News has used mapping to explore the gravity of Manchester’s gun crime problem.

I wonder if this is another issue which will migrate to New Labour’s next manifesto. Certainly since they came to power, New Labour haven’t been slouches when it comes to auditing more and more areas of our lives.

I’m reminded of a great book I read a few years ago – Michael Powers’ The Audit Society, which outlines the rise of audit in UK political culture from the early 80s.

Of course much good can potentially come from auditing what’s going wrong in society, but only where it is fed into policy aligned to address the issues which cause the problem.

Politicians know that dealing with the root causes of a serious problem like crime goes way beyond any volume of data, or any sophistication of programming. So do the electorate – who will no doubt have their own say at the next audit of parliament (London’s parliamentary audit is fast approaching, so I wonder if this issue will take off in the coming days)…

Still, I’m sure it would prove hugely popular with Crime and Home Affairs Correspondents…

UPDATE: looks like Boris better get used to doing what he says – else he’ll be feeling some heat.

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