By Claire West
From yesterday, a quick post code search on a new website allows you to find out what crime or anti-social behaviour has happened near you.
The interactive maps can be accessed on computers and mobile phones and will open the door on crime and policing information, allowing people to view crimes including burglary, violence and anti-social behaviour in their areas.
This transparent new level of crime and local policing information will ensure people can tell forces what their concerns about crime and disorder are, find out information about crime in their area and hold police to account for how well they are dealing with the issues that matter locally.
Policing Minister Nick Herbert said the maps were a "very important step in accountability and transparency" and would help ensure the police is responsive "to what the local community wants".
The website forms a key part of the government's transparency agenda making crime and antisocial behaviour data available in an open format so that communities, local services and developers can use it to help people engage with the police in a meaningful way.
The Home Secretary Theresa May said that this is just the start of greater transparency in crime, policing and justice and will allow people to hold their local forces to account.
We want people to be able to see what crime is happening on their street and to be able to tell their local police if they have concerns, and challenge them about how issues are being dealt with.
The information accessed through www.police.uk is the first phase of a wider package of work to make crime, justice and policing more transparent.
Building on this the Home Office has appointed ‘trailblazer’ police force areas who will develop and work on innovative ways to deliver greater transparency locally.