How we collect our data
Sharing our data is important to us and to the public. We recognise that you want to know what’s going on in your area. Find out how we collect and update the data for crimes, stop and search and use of tasers. We can all be better prepared by staying informed of the nature of crimes in your area.
Crime data and how we collect it
The crime data dashboard has been created to help show you what crime has been committed in neighbourhoods across the capital. Crime information can be shown on a map shaded to show crime rates in each area compared to the average across London, and can even be downloaded into a number of formats. Data can be viewed by a safer neighbourhood team (SNT) or borough. SNTs are small teams of police officers (usually 10-15) who are dedicated to policing a certain London ward. To find out which ward you belong to, visit our tool – Your area.
Crime Maps are updated monthly as crime data is extracted from the crime reporting information system (CRIS) every month. This is consistent with the way crime statistics are currently released by the Home Office.
Wherever possible actual crime numbers are shown. However, when looking at larger areas of London, a crime rate is used to show the number of crimes per 1,000 head of population during a specific amount of time. This makes it easier to compare between areas of London that have very different population numbers.
Breaking down crime data
The crime data is broken down into major crime types that group together similar crimes, then break out further into minor crime types, which are sub-types of the majors. The full list and more information of what is included in each section, go to the Crime type definitions page.
As we continue to develop the site we hope to display more crime types and further details, whilst ensuring we protect crime victims' personal information and comply with all legal requirements regarding the crime data we hold.
As small changes can be made to figures to reflect development in investigations – for example, we could determine that a crime recorded as a burglary was actually criminal damage, so the crime would be reclassified on the system to provide the most accurate picture – therefore these crime figures are subject to change every month. As a result, you should avoid storing or using old sets of Met crime data, as they may not exactly match current published figures.
Stop and search
Stop and search data is pulled monthly from the CrimInt Plus system – a Met database. It compares the number of stop and searches conducted across boroughs, why they happened, and details of the individual stopped, such as age and ethnicity.
Stop and searches come in three types; stop and account, stop and search, and vehicle stop. To learn more about the key differences and the Met’s position on stop and search, visit our stop and search page.
Please note – The borough shown is the location of the search and not necessarily the borough of the officer conducting the search. Also, the ethnicity of persons stopped and searched within the central London area are unlikely to reflect the resident population due to large numbers of both British and foreign tourists in this region.
Whenever a taser is deployed – including using the taser, non-discharge and where a suspect is red dotted – the officer completes a record of the event. This data is gathered on a database and released to the public on a three-monthly basis, broken down by borough.
When an officer considers there to be an imminent use or threat of violence they can consider one of the following uses of a taser, and these are how the data is presented:
- Drawn: Removed from holster
- Aimed: Pointed at subject
- Red Dot: Pointed at subject with red dot laser sight active so that red dot appears on subject
- Arced: No cartridge attached. Taser switched on and trigger squeezed in order that electric current arcs between contacts on front of taser
- Fired: Cartridge attached. Taser switched on and trigger squeezed causing cartridge to fire
- Drive Stun: No cartridge attached. Front of taser placed against subject and arced
- Angled drive stun: Cartridge on. After an ineffective firing (barb placements too close together or failure of one barb to attach) , front of taser placed on subject away from the barbs and taser activated
One officer carrying out any of these will constitute a taser 'deployment'. Two officers carrying out any of these on the same subject will count as two 'deployments' but one subject. For example one officer may draw the taser, and another aims the taser at the same subject. Two deployments, One subject.
The National Census March 2011 is used to calculate population data for crime rates. For more information please refer to the Office of National Statistics.
Please note, that while every effort is made to record the details of crime and its location as accurately as possible, there are occasions when victims are unable to provide the actual location of a crime. In these instances, the site will not be able to display all the crime reported to the police.
In the UK, the Met is bound by the Data Protection Act and Human Rights Act. The Met is not allowed to publish data that may inadvertently identify a living individual. This would be a contravention of these acts which are to ensure that individuals’ and victims' physical safety and emotional well-being are protected. The Met has worked closely with the Information Commissioner's Office to ensure full compliance with legislation governing which and in what form crimes can be released.
You may also notice in these tools, as well as the Your Area tools, that not all postcodes may be recognised. Between 200 and 1,000 postcodes in London are added each month, making it difficult to keep the maps completely up to date. Postcode records are updated periodically on the website as the Met receives updates. However, there will inevitably be some gaps and delays. Typically, these missing postcodes are fewer than 2% of all the postcodes in London.
We are currently only providing data for the area covered by the Metropolitan Police Service. If you are looking for crime figures for other force areas (including the City of London Police), please visit that force’s website.
The Metropolitan Police Service accepts no responsibility for any use made of this site or the data it displays outside the intended use stated above.