POLICE and residents have been armed with a new hi-tech weapon to identify the problem areas where they need to target their fight against crime.
Derbyshire Constabulary is backing the latest crime mapping tool on the police website www.police.uk, which allows residents to pinpoint specific places and roads to gauge the number and types of offences committed during certain months.
Dep Chief Con Alan Goodwin, of Derbyshire police, said: “We believe it is important to give people as much information as possible about the work we do in local communities.
“Crime maps are another means by which people can find out about policing issues in their area and we hope the public find it useful.”
It is hoped the map will keep residents better informed so they can address specific concerns with police and it should help police to be aware of problem areas and to focus their efforts.
The map allows users to establish what types of crimes are being committed on their own streets or neighbourhoods, as well as their favourite shopping areas or places where they like to visit and socialise.
Home Secretary Theresa May said: “Armed with the information from those crime maps, people can attend their local neighbourhood beat meeting and hold their local police to account for their performance.”
The map is due to be up-dated from May, when it will also give details of whether anyone involved has been arrested, charged or sentenced.
Residents can visit www.police.uk and enter a specific month, place name, area, address and post code and a map will show the number of crimes committed at or around the target area.
Clicking on the numbers gives a breakdown of the type of crimes committed in that area.
Take a glance at the website and see what a search for Belper, Duffield and Ambergate revealed on www.police.uk for December 2011.
In Belper there were 110 crimes reported during that month. The highest number was 42 for anti-social behaviour, while there were 21 burglaries.
The most crimes happened in the area encircled by Bridge Street, Field Lane, Market Place and Cheapside/New Road.
The crimes included four incidents of shoplifting on King Street, as well as separate incidents of anti-social behaviour, violent crime, public disorder/weapons, and criminal damage/arson around Market Place.
Have you used the new website? If so, get in touch and tell us what you think.