The Truth About Crime, a three-part documentary made by Mentorn Media and Films of Record for BBC ONE broadcasts from Tuesday 21st July at 9pm. Integral to the programme is the new breed of crime maps developed by The Truth About Crime Production Team and Cimex especially for the series to deliver a comprehensible understanding of crime in any given area.

Hosted by Nick Ross The Truth About Crime conducts a unique experiment: filming in Oxford, a typical British city, 24/7 for a fortnight with the police, the fire service and at the John Radcliffe hospital to help build up a comprehensive overview of crime.

Nick Ross explains: “Oxford is much more than just a University City. Wherever you live in the country, there’s a part of Oxford just like it - leafy suburbs, industrial heartland, bustling city centre, Victorian terraces, council estates and rural fringes. But most importantly, its recorded crime rate is typical of the national picture.”

Official figures were also collected as part of the programme’s Crime Audit and the data used by The Truth About Crime Production Team and Cimex to create maps revealing what crime in one city really looks like. By mapping a whole year’s worth of police figures, clear patterns begin to emerge linking, for example, violent assaults and licensed premises.

But by addressing the problem more scientifically - by mapping it, and tracking it to where it starts, by making licensed premises more accountable, and by being less tolerant of drunkenness and aggression, society can come up with practical solutions that help stop crime happening in the first place. An effective crime mapping website provides an effective solution for police authorities and the public.

Earlier this year Cimex’s User Experience team researched a number of crime maps and found that online mapping has an important part to play in helping communities understand the crime in their area and begin to work with their local police authorities to combat it. However the team concluded that most crime maps were confusing at best and at worst were in danger of creating a feeling of mistrust between communities and police forces because they were so difficult to understand and potential sources of misinformation.

The Truth About Crime website, www.bbc.co.uk/truthaboutcrime, allows users to view the results of the Crime Audit using a comprehensive interactive Crime Map which uses dynamically genetrated heat maps and crime sequences animated over time. Together with crime mapping expert Spencer Chainey, the Mentorn Production Team and Cimex developed maps that were able to highlight incidences of crime using a combination of heat maps (red signifying a high intensity hot spot of crime) and more detailed local maps. Viewers can compare their area to a similar area in Oxford and get a real feeling for how effective this kind of map could be to their community.

Other areas of the site include a unique and innovative diagnostic tool which, depending on a users lifestyle and where they live presents the user with information on the kinds of crime they may be at most risk from.

For more information please contact:
Juliet Bernard at Bluebear on 01707 320274 or Juliet@bluebear.co.uk

Notes to Editors
Cimex is a multi-award winning, ‘ Top 50’ digital agency. Established in 1994, it offers a 360 degree service from consultancy through to digital design, technical and hosting, but also offers Europe leading services in mobile, usability and accessibility, social media and search marketing. Cimex works in the corporate, public and e-learning sectors, and focuses on user-centred design to create unique solutions.

Published on: 2:00PM on 29th July 2009