Introduction to Geographies
It is crucial to understand how the data is being presented in Singlepoint. First and foremost, it is not possible from the data to identify any individual person or household, either in relation to victims or offenders. The data in Singlepoint is presented as what we refer to as “aggregated counts” by particular geographic areas – i.e. we present the number of a particular kind of crime, incident or event that has occurred in a chosen geographical area. The second key point to consider is that the geographic areas chosen are not always directly comparable – i.e. some will be larger than others, and some will contain more households and a larger resident population. If there are 20 electoral wards within a given borough, these were not chosen to split the resident population into 20 equal groups; the decisions are based on long-standing administrative and political reasoning.
Singlepoint, therefore, does not at present show crime and disorder trends in terms of rates. In other documents and online resources, data is sometimes shown as either:-
Incidence rates – the number of crimes experienced per household or per person
Prevalence rates – the percentage of people or households who were victims or an offence once or more during the year. Unlike incidence rates this only takes account of whether a household or person was a victim of a specific crime once or more in the recall period, but not of the number of times victimised. Prevalence rates are taken as equivalent to ‘risk’.
In Singlepoint, data has to be considered in the light of common sense judgements about the kind of area that is being looked into.