Alex Hirschfield was recently involved in a discussion about the new police.uk crime mapping website. The discussion was broadcast live on the Andrew Edwards Drive Live Show on BBC Radio Leeds at 5.30pm on 1st February 2011 and is available here.
During the discussion it becomes clear that although crime data is an essential part of the crime analysis toolbox, we cannot understand crime just by looking at crime data - we need to understand the 'context' within which crime occurs. Is there something about land use or the population out there in the 'environment' that might explain why crime levels appear to be high or low?
This is at the heart of the GeoCrimeData project, we will analyse existing environmental data (such as road networks and land-use datasets) to add context to observed crime patterns.