The Home Office has this week, launched a national interactive crime map for England and Wales that gives residents statistics on local crime figures and details on neighbourhood policing online at http://maps.police.uk/ .
The online map figures are for all crime, including burglary, robbery, violence, vehicle crime and anti-social behaviour in their area which I assume includes the Isle of Thanet.
Viewers can compare one police area with another, compare figures over a three-month period against the same period for the previous year, and see annual crime rates.
If the site were working – which it's not, as I write, because it's 'crashed' you would, in theory, be able to see details of your neighbourhood police team, local policing priorities and information about forthcoming local events such as crime prevention meetings and local 'PACT' surgeries. I can't wait!
Crime mapping is part of the national 'Policing Pledge', which sets out standards and commitments on police response times, neighbourhood policing community engagement and time spent "on patch".
Back to the subject of the Westgate bench briefly, Sgt Connor tells me that since it was moved, the anti-social behaviour in Station Road has ceased and the evening are now quiet, which I would describe as a good result. This is of course part of a series of measures and I'm quoted in the local paper as saying that I'm not prepared to surrender Westgate to a minority of 'yobs' without a struggle and clearly, swift and decisive action has had the desired effect. I know that some elderly residents are concerned by the removal of the bench but when I explain what has actually happened to make Westgate a safer place at night, the 'Blitz' spirit comes in and they are supportive of the measures, even though it temporarily inconveniences them.
Back in Computer Weekly today, I've a few words to say on overcoming resistance to change and in particular, the public sector. With budgets now so tight that they resemble a can of sardines, the most immediate challenge is having sufficient funds available to deliver a whole raft of technology-related projects and I fear that the public sector will now start to fall rapidly behind the curve, with a consequential impact on services in the future.