There is an amazing amount of data now that we can collect to help us make decisions about where to live or invest in the property market. We have for some time been able to check general crime statistics in an area, but now we have a much more detailed way of doing that courtesy of the police themselves.
Postcode Ranked Crime Statistics
In case you have not seen the news of late the police now have a new web site where you put in a postcode and it will then show you how much crime in real figures has been committed in that area. The data shows burglary, anti-social behavior, violent crime, robbery, vehicle crime and other crime. This has thrown up the question of valuations again. Valuations have taken a battering over recent months due to the subjective nature of the beast. Agents have been able to influence valuations for a long time.
Surveyors were also known to bend a few rules for the right people and the new map will make it difficult for crime and anti-social behavior to be ignored. It’s yet to be seen if the crime map will impact on valuations to lenders and I wonder if the lenders will add this data to their already stringent criteria. Individual police forces have been compiling their own maps and posting them online for about 6 months now. The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, announced the scheme and now The Home Office has placed all the maps together to form a complete overview of crime in England and Wales.
So I thought we would look at a breakdown to show the data given via a couple of screen grabs:
Digging A Little Deeper
Now if we drill down a bit further it becomes very interesting. By clicking on the “streets” tab we get a colour coded deeper view of what the true picture is for each crime in the neighboring streets too, like this;
Lastly, on the “neighborhood” tab we can find out how our area fares in the general area as a whole in a ranking system.
The ‘crime rate’ for a given area is the number of crimes per 1000 people in that area. For each area these are calculated by dividing the actual number of crimes by the population and then multiplying by 1,000.
Area Crime Rankings In Total
To work out the banding that each area is in, they are sorted and ranked according to the crime rate.
- Top 2% of areas with the highest crime rate High crime level
- Next 14% of areas Above Average crime level Middle 68% of areas Average crime level
- Next 14% of areas Below Average crime level
- Bottom 2% of areas with the lowest crime rate Low crime level
Some interesting stats available there, what are your thoughts? Will it effect valuations, or will vendors / buyers even be aware of it to use it when choosing an area to live? I can see this changing prices if it gets a wider use and is taken up from a sales point of view. It could of course be a double edged sword for agents- how do you flaunt a good area whilst playing down a bad one?