Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use the website to report a crime?
No. In an emergency, always call 999. To report less urgent crimes or disorder call the new police non-emergency number 101. You can find more information on 101 at: www.police.uk/101
I have been affected by domestic violence. Where can I seek help?
If you have, or are experiencing domestic violence then getting help is perhaps the most important thing you can do.
In an emergency, call 999. If it is not an emergency, you could contact your local police station and discuss your situation with them.
You can also anonymously call one of the helplines listed below:
- English National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247
- Men's Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
- Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 80 10 800
- Broken Rainbow Helpline (for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people): 0300 999 5428
- Respect (for people who are abusive to partners): 0845 122 8609
- Forced Marriage Unit: 020 7088 0151
You can also visit GOV.UK for more help and advice.
What have you done to ensure that my privacy is protected?
Our priority has been to ensure that the privacy of individuals is protected and we work closely with the Information Commissioner's Office to ensure that all necessary safeguards are in place. For example:
- Dots are never placed over specific dwellings. Where possible we have included key locations, such as railway stations, to map incidents which have occurred on or around that location and we will continue to work with the public and police forces to develop this further
- Streets with fewer than 8 postal addresses have been excluded.
- Incidents are grouped into eleven separate categories to ensure that more sensitive crimes are not identifiable. If you have concerns about the impact of Police.uk on your privacy, please get in touch via the feedback page.
How often is the information on the website updated?
The website is updated on or before the last working day of each month. This update will map incidents reported to the police in the preceding month. For example, an incident of crime or anti-social behaviour reported to the police on 10th January will be reported on the website on or before the last working day of February.
What am I supposed to do with this information?
The site aims to give you access to local crime and policing information in a way that is useful to you. This information could be used to raise an issue at your local beat meeting or help you to take an active role in preventing crime and anti-social behaviour in your local community.
There are a lot of inaccuracies in the data. What are you doing to resolve them?
All crime and anti-social behaviour data on Police.uk is provided by individual police forces and we will work with them to provide the most accurate information as possible.
Is there a simple way to establish whether my local police are doing a good job?
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) provides independent information about how your local police force is performing. You can use Police.uk to see how crime levels in your areas compare to previous years or use the link provided to access more information about quality of service, finance and workforce numbers.
How much does the website cost?
The total cost of the Police.uk contract since the website was launched in January 2011 is £842,128. This is an average of £35,089 per month. Under the current contract (which runs from 30 September 2012 until 30 September 2015), the monthly contracted costs for data collection/processing and maintenance of the website are just over £28,000. These costs are published on the GOV.UK website, as part of transparency datasets showing monthly Home Office spend over £25,000. We will publish any additional costs for new site developments here on the Police.uk site.
Can we access the contract?
You can find the current Police.uk contract on ContractFinder.
How will you develop Police.uk in the future?
We are already working with police and other partners in 'trailblazer' areas to explore how we can drive even greater transparency across crime, policing and justice. Please let us know what developments you would like to see via the feedback page. It really can make all the difference and based on previous emails we have already made the following improvements:
- Introduced more crime categories
- Added information about how your local police force is performing
- Placed more dots on the map to improve accuracy and begin to show crimes and ASB at key locations such as railway stations
- Showing what happens after a crime has occurred
What are 'trailblazer' areas working on?
Trailblazer areas are testing local initiatives to see how we can drive transparency even further and faster nationally. For example:
- Surrey Police has developed Surrey Police Beat to allow the local community in Runnymede to see what Neighbourhood Police Forces are working on and to vote on local priorities (available to download from Police.uk).
- Community Safety Partnerships in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have launched Crime Reports which releases more frequent and detailed information (www.crimereports.co.uk).
- Avon and Somerset has developed TrackMyCrime which is a case-tracking system for victims (www.trackmycrime.police.uk).
- Justice trailblazer forces in West Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire have played a crucial role in delivering the key Prime Ministerial commitment to use Police.uk to show what happens after a crime has occurred.
- We are currently piloting 'In the Dock' on the West Yorkshire pages of Police.uk. The pilot provides the public with images of convicted criminals along with a short summary of their crime and sentence. Publishing this information aims to improve the provision and transparency of information about crime and justice to the public and to increase the public's trust and confidence in the criminal justice system. Subject to the successful completion and evaluation of the pilot the Home Office will work with any forces who would like to be part of any Police.uk national roll out.
- In addition, Dyfed-Powys and South Wales are piloting a newsletter template that allows neighbourhood policing teams to update and engage their local community.