Home-owners hit out after street is given ‘crime hotspot’ label

SHOCKED residents have hit out after their ‘quiet little cul-de-sac’ was painted as a crime hotspot.

The PoliceUK website, a crime mapping site which went live in January, stated there had been 15 crime or anti-social behaviour incidents on and near Brampton Road during December 2010.

Upset residents contacted their local police officers and were told there was only one police call out to Brampton Road in December and that was to remove a problem man from an address in the street.

Eastbourne officers could find no crime in the street in December and residents were left angry about the misleading Brampton Road figures.

John Edwards, a 48-year-old father-of-two who has lived in Brampton Road for around 10 years, said, “It was just shocking because it is a nice quiet little residential street.

“There are lots of children living in the street and 98 per cent of the residents are homeowners.

“Some people are selling their homes, so it was a worry for them and we are also concerned about our insurance policies.

“I have never witnessed a crime in this street.

“It may be that there are other incidents in the retail park and industrial estate nearby but not in Brampton Road itself.”

The website allows people to search for specific streets and view the crime figures.

The majority of streets are shown on the map but the Gazette understands crimes and incidents which take place in unlisted streets are attributed to the nearest listed street.

Mr Edwards says he believes incidents which take place in the large industrial estate and retail park behind his home are being listed under Brampton Road.

A Sussex Police spokesperson said, “The crime mapping system automatically plots crime to the nearest residential street of 12 houses or more, unless different snap-points are manually added.

“We are aware of some problems caused by the way data is presented and have already addressed this issue in a number of places, such as transport hubs and shopping centres, through a manual override.

“District commanders across Sussex have also been asked to identify any other anomalies in their area that can be corrected and we appreciate this specific issue being brought to our attention.”