Will the new crime website have the same impact as school league tables?

Last week the government introduced a new crime website – www.police.uk – where we can find out the level and type of crime on every street in the U.K.  This is meant to keep residents informed with what is going on in their area.  It should also help us to keep the police accountable for how they spend their time. This information has always been available but it was a bit more complicated to find before and less publicised.

It’s great if we all have more information so we can help our communities to be safer and better places to live.  My worry is that it will have the same impact as school league tables – www.education.gov.uk/performancetables

There were always schools of varying success but once school league tables tell you that your local school is on the bottom of a list then you will look for a school at the top of the list.  Many house moves have occurred to facilitate access to better schools.  Similarly there have always been varying amounts of crime but once these lists are compiled then the differences will be clear, and lots of individual decisions will probably lead to more low crime and high crime areas, with a lot less in between.

I hope that I am wrong and we continue to have diverse communities where we look out for our neighbours and work with the authorities to keep our communities safe.

It is true that some people have a fear of crime that is out of proportion to reality and finding that crime is lower than they think should be helpful.  However there are others who don’t want to think about the reality of crime and believe it wont happen to them and for those these statistics might increase their anxiety.  As a counsellor I know that such anxiety affects people differently and needs to be worked through.

So, how do you feel about having such information available to you?  Will it help you be more involved in your community/neighbourhood scheme?  Is it just a tool to spy on people you know in other areas of the country?  Is it all a cunning way to get us involved before more cuts?  I’d love to hear what you think about it – please leave a comment below

Love after Love by Derek Walcott

The time will come

when, with elation,

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror,

and each will smile at the other’s welcome.

and say, sit here. Eat

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

“Love after Love” from COLLECTED POEMS 1948-1984 by Derek Walcott. Copyright © 1986 by Derek Walcott. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC