Directors' blog

Links, thoughts and updates from the directors of Dim Sum Digital.

On the crime beat to open data with #hackthecity



Hacking underway

What could you do with crime and justice data?

A map to tell you the safer places in a city to park maybe? Or how about a way to check the work has been carried out near you by those who’ve received a court sentence to do it to see justice being done?

Utilising data available within the crime and justice field was one of the challenges facing attendees of Saturday’s Hack the City event in Sheffield.

Developers, designers and various general interested oddbods like myself were invited to share some ideas and see if maybe the room could come up with the next killer app or business idea for data.

Alongside a general city based hack, the event organised by Open Data Sheffield was also an opportunity to meet with those involved with the Open Data Institute’s Immersion programme.

The series lead on the project, Simon Whitehouse introduced participants to the scheme which is looking for people to engage in a process which will result in a data business looking at how open data projects can be constructed to achieve one of the following:

- increase community involvement with the criminal justice system
- create further evidence for what are effective interventions for rehabilitation
- address the rise in personal crime
Home Office representatives were also present and introduced the data sets already opened up around policing – – which includes more than the headline grabbing neighbourhood crime mapping data such as extra police officer details for neighbourhood teams.

The Home Office is hoping that by opening this data, developers and communities will start to engage more in conversations about policing and they’d especially like to see more activity around the Police and Crime Commissioner roles.

The hacks were well on their way at the point I left and were competing for prizes. They included building an email alerts system into this web map for stolen bicycles, a transport app for Sheffield, a ‘where not live’ crime mapping app and this library recommendation from the two youngest hackers to attend.

The full hacks, videos from the day and more information with developer links can be found at the website here.

A wiki with useful data in the crime and justice area has been set up here and the ODI’s website has the full details of all the current data challenges here.

Written by sarahhartley

September 8th, 2013 at 9:53 am

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