Is New Police Crime Website Accurate?

The inclusion of a "quiet street" as one of the most crime-ridden in the country has been branded as "crackers" by the local council.

The national crime maps website shows Surrey Street in Portsmouth, Hampshire, as having 136 crimes, including burglary, violence and anti-social behaviour in December.

But the street, which is less than 100m long, is only home to a "respectable" pub used by postal workers, a car park and a block of flats.

Councillor Eleanor Scott, who is responsible for community safety at Portsmouth City Council, said the figures were a blight on the street and its pub, The Surrey Arms.

She said that while the website was showing "too many" crimes for Surrey Street, it failed to record the burglary of her own home elsewhere in Portsmouth.

She said: "It's a tiny street, there's a few flats, a car park and a nice respectable pub where the postal workers from the nearby postal depot stop for a drink.

"If Portsmouth is anything to go by, this website is a complete farce, it's identifying wrong crime epicentres and missing out crimes in other areas so you can't rely on it.''

Ms Scott has written to Mrs May to highlight her concerns and to invite her to visit Surrey Street.

In the email, she wrote: "I invite you to come to tiny Surrey Street, and perhaps enjoy a quiet beer in its one pub with the postal workers who use it at the end of a shift, and you will see how distorted and inaccurate the crime map is.

"What you have allowed to happen may also prove to be very damaging for the small business that is the Surrey Arms."

Chief Superintendent Nigel Hindle, commander of Portsmouth police, said the postcode of Surrey Street was used to record incidents of retail crime such as shoplifting from the adjacent commercial centre and violent crime from the bars and clubs of nearby Guildhall Walk.

He said: "Police are extremely active in tackling crime across the whole of Portsmouth.

"Surrey Street is a non-residential street, and this post code draws in crime data from Guildhall Walk, Commercial Road and Cascades shopping centres, Portsmouth University and halls of residence - a hugely thriving commercial sector and busy night-time economy area."

He added that the force was involved in high-visibility policing in Guildhall Walk in a bid to reduce the amount of drink-related violence.

He said: "In the city, we have the Safe Space initiative, a multi-agency campaign concentrating on tackling violence associated with night-time economy.

"The includes the use of street pastors, taxi marshals, working with nightclubs and licensees.

"Portsmouth is a safe city. It is densely populated, has a very popular retail area and night-time economy and these do bring us unique policing challenges."


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