The London Landscape: supporting Policing and Community Safety in a data-rich city
Launched today by the GLA and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), the London Landscape is an interactive and easy-to-use collation of over a million data points – covering a wide range of thematic areas from emergency services through to finance and population – providing an overview of London to support police and community safety analysts.
The recent explosion in the volume of open data, and increased technological capacity and tools to store and analyse it, has led to much greater expectations of police and local authority community safety researchers and analysts. Experts in this field are increasingly expected to understand the communities in which they serve – with regard to not only their make-up and diversity, but also risk of harm to its residents, drivers of crime, and horizon-scanning for future impacts.
While the success of ‘open data’ means that the data are publicly available (eg. on the GLA’s London Datastore); low awareness of this availability and inexperience in its use has so far led to limited analysis of the high volume of data required to assess a community or area from a policing or community safety perspective.
This was highlighted through the recent launch of the Neighbourhood Confidence and Crime Comparator where many users ranging from researchers and analysts through to Police Inspectors were unaware of the data that was used to create the ‘most similar neighbourhood’ groupings crucial to the Comparator.
The requirement for a publicly-facing, interactive and easy-to-use collated provision of this data was clearly identified, and has subsequently driven the creation of the London Landscape – a ‘Landscape’ of London data – by the GLA and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).
Stakeholder engagement has identified a range of likely uses for the Landscape, including:
- adding context and understanding to short and long-term trends in police and local authority tactical and strategic analyses;
- growth impact planning utilising the population and housing projections;
- enabling local officers and members of the public (eg. Safer Neighbourhood Boards) to better understand the areas in which they work and live, and the potential drivers of crime, harm and risk.
The London Landscape was constructed over an 18 month period, incorporating dashboard design (Tableau), dataset identification, collation and referencing, the authoring of data manipulation code (R) and metadata, data output quality assurance, stakeholder engagement, and web hosting.
The Landscape holds over a million pieces of historic and projected data, as part of 160 datasets, grouped into 7 themes of not only Emergency Services, but also Education, Ethnicity & Origin, Financial & Economic, Health, Population and Transport.
The Landscape offers the user an annually-updated strategic data view of London – right down to electoral ward level and offering raw, denominated and change formats of data – freeing the user from time-consuming data issues in order that they can carry out their end-stage analysis more efficiently.
For more information on, and to access the London Landscape please visit the London Datastore pages, or alternatively the MOPAC pages. For any further questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.