Page last updated at 16:24 GMT, Thursday, 24 April 2008 17:24 UK

Tories want crime 'hotspots' map

David Cameron
There was "enormous anxiety" in crime-ridden areas, Mr Cameron said

Every police force in England and Wales should publish a monthly map outlining the places where crimes have occurred, Tory leader David Cameron has said.

Recorded offences fell by 12% in the last three months of 2007 compared to a year earlier, Home Office figures show.

But Mr Cameron said there were "real problems" in terms of crimes involving guns and drugs, which have increased.

Having this information would help the police and the public to "act together to cut crime", he told BBC News.

"If you look at the crime figures, what you see is drug crime up, gun crime up, and worryingly with drug crime, that'll lead to further crimes in the future.

"The government always like to talk about the British Crime Survey figures but look across the last 10 years at the recorded crime figures - they're up. Look at violent crime, doubled; gun crime almost doubled."

First steps

Drug offences have risen by 20% in 12 months, which researchers attributed to changes to the ways in which cannabis offences were dealt with after the substance was reclassified. Firearms offences were up 4%, although there were fewer deaths from shootings.

The BBC's Nick Robinson questions the Conservative leader.

Mr Cameron said "the worry about the guns and the knives and the violent crime on our streets has got to be dealt with".

The maps would let local people hold police to account and enable them to call for action to tackle "hotspots" or deal with particular types of offence.

The Tory leader claimed there was "enormous anxiety" in areas with high crime rates, which caused the image of those communities to "suffer".

"If you've got a problem, the first thing you've got to do is look at the extent of the problem, and how big the problem is, and an accurate picture of the problem, and then you can deal with it."


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