diamond geezer

 Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Tubewatch (32) Crime figures
Are you frightened of crime? Do you never go on the tube because something nasty might happen? More importantly, do you have just cause to shudder, or are you worrying about nothing? A website provided by the British Transport Police aims to help answer the question. It's clever stuff. You click on a station on their tube map and all the crime figures for that station over the last 12 months are displayed. You can choose to see crimes on the station, on the train, or both. You can drill down to see how many of those crimes were violent, and even compare figures with those for the previous year. So, for example, at my local station of Bow Road there have been 13 crimes in the last year, up almost 50% on the previous year. But Chesham sounds far more dangerous. They've had 3.35 crimes per 100,000 passenger journeys in the last year, which is six times as many as at Bow Road. And crime is down this year at Oxford Circus station, unless you include crimes on trains in which case it's gone up. If nothing else, this site provides a huge amount of statistically insignificant data from which it's possible to draw a number of wildly misleading conclusions. Indeed, I'd say the most dangerous thing here is believing what the site tells you as gospel and worrying unnecessarily as a result. Thank goodness nobody's yet turned the stream of figures into a "Crime Danger - Official" map of the London Underground. Yet. Give it time.

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