David Cameron in his attempt to tackle the fear of street crime and allow local people to hold their police force to account has suggested that maps be released showing exactly where crime has happened and identify crime hotspots. This to me seems a rather poor idea.
Firstly I think it scores David no political points, he really needs to be seen to be angry about labour’s failure to tackle violent crime. He needs to be seen at the scene of shootings declaring with passion and conviction that this is going to stop and that this must be dealt with. A map seems a little impotent to me.
Secondly a map would in fact only increase levels of paranoia over crime. People would study these maps, they would determine house prices, and we would see an increase in no go areas created by peoples’ fear of crime perpetuated by these maps. If people knew exactly where crime was being committed in large numbers people would increasingly move away from those areas leaving it to further decline.
Thirdly, are we not the party that wants to reduce the burden of regulation for police officers and other public servants? To require a force to have a monthly map would only lead to a huge increase in administration. Not to mention the increased stress and demoralisation that this policy would surely bring.