Improving the location anonymisation
We are currently working on improving the way in which locations on the crime map are anonymised and would like to hear your thoughts.
As you may be aware the crime data is currently anonymised using ‘Snap Points’, predetermined locations that adhere to several criteria (e.g. they are in the middle of the road, not within an area with less than 8 addresses; more information can be found here http://data.police.uk/about/#location-anonymisation).
Before we make any changes we’d like to get a better understanding of what factors are important to our data users, and what changes we could make that would maximise the usefulness of the data. To kick off the conversation, there’s a few questions that we’d welcome your thoughts on:
- Do you think it would be useful to provide exact location data for public spaces (like parks, car parks) where privacy is not a concern?
- How important is it for a crime to snap to it’s original street? Would it be better to snap the crime to a point on a different road, but closer to the true location?
- Would there be any negative impact of having multiple ‘snap points’ on the same street?
- For crimes that occur near a police force boundary, is it OK to anonymise it to a close location over the force boundary, or better to always anonymise it within the original force but potentially further away?
Any opinions, ideas and suggestions would be much appreciated and will help us shape the service in the future.