The Met Police map is very detailed (going down to sub-area level and monthly reporting). So I know that in my locality there were 5 crimes reported in June and 2 in May. This is a lot more meaningful than "3.42 crimes per 1000" for example, and of course the entire ward is a bit too big for any meaning to come out of it.
Reported crime is probably nothing like actual crime, particularly in the case of street crime. I think that people's cultural background, whether they have a 9-5 job (and are unable to queue up at a police station to fill in a form) and previous experiences of police in solving crimes, are bigger factors in whether people report crimes than how close they are to a police station.
Also crimes on the railways are a matter for the BTP so I would not expect crimes within the railway stations to change the mapping (but on the forecourts and approaches it would).
Principle #9: The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.
The problem with these stats are that they're all based on targets and targets distort provision. The bottom line is that the Met would dearly love to give you a better service and those that work within it try to do their best, but yrs of government interference have screwed it all up.
Well the map looks to be based on the incidence of Burglary, Robbery & Vehicle Crime, rather than the detection of crime.
The problem with targets is that they can lead to some shall we say... statistical fun and games... When is a Burglary a Burglary? The theft act says that it's when someone enters any building or part of a building to the least agree, there is no need for the whole body to enter.
So if someone breaks a window and is disturbed by a neighbour as they reach inside and then runs off. Is that a Burglary OR is it Criminal Damage? If you use your imagination you'll get my point.
I wonder how much Criminal Damage they record vs. Attempted Burglaries ;-)
That's just one example... the bottom line is that there is a pressure on the police as a result of targets to record certain crimes in certain ways. They only get a gold star for a 'Sanctioned Detection', a non-solvable Burglary is not going to get a gold star, so there is a temptation to put it down as a case of criminal damage. A robbery might potentially become a common assault and so on...
I'd certainly agree that the map is good only as far as it goes and would also agree that definition of particular incidents is crucial for accurate reporting. We should see /all/ incidents and not just a few randomly selected few. I think though that there are a number of sensitive crimes that should be broken down by ward, but not necesarily subward.
I'd like to see more types of crimes included on the map; common assault and criminal damage etc. and the ability to break those crimes down and compare areas. I figure, however, that the map is new and I'm hopeful we'll see more included as time goes by.