Kent Crime Maps

A new interactive crime map has gone online, allowing you to see which crimes have been committed in your part of Kent.

All you have to do is type in your postcode, street, town or village and the site will show you how many incidents have happened there in the last month.

Each crime has been sorted into one of six broad categories - violent crime, burglary, robbery, vehicle crime, anti-social behaviour and other crime - which includes sex crimes, theft and shoplifting. This is partly to help protect the privacy and identity of victims. Figures for streets with fewer than 12 houses have also been aggregated out to the wider area for the same reason.

Information on local police appeals and the next police community meeting are also published on the site, and in the future details of the outcomes of court cases could be included.

The site, which cost the Home Office £300,000 to develop, covers the whole of England and Wales, and is the first time such detailed crime maps have been available for an entire country anywhere in the world.

Home Secretary Theresa May has denied that making such detailed information available will drive down house prices in a particular area. She says, "It's not the existence of a map on a website that affects it. This is giving people a real tool, real power to see that something is being done about crime in their area.

"This doesn't make them frightened, it actually makes them feel a part of what is happening. This will give them the real facts and figures. This will make the police more accountable. It gives people a real tool to hold the police to account.''

Kent Police are welcoming the crime maps, saying they will help communities to better understand what's happening in their area.

Deputy Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said: "By making this information available, we aim to raise awareness of what we're doing to tackle crime and disorder and how local people can support their local police.'

Ann Barnes, Chair of Kent Police Authority said: "I'm delighted that street level crime mapping has been launched. Transparency and openness should be at the heart of every public service. Now for the first time the public will be able to see where crime is taking place, as well as information on how to contact their local neighbourhood officer.

"I'm confident this data will help to enhance the policing service the public of Kent and Medway receive, and can assure everyone in our communities that members of the Police Authority will, on their behalf, have a very clear watching brief."