One of the unique capabilities of UKCrimeStats is the ability to ask of the data, which type of area, across the given area had the most, least, biggest increase/decrease, of this that or all types of crime weighted for daytime or residential population. We can do this with almost everything where the data is available. So we can now announce that this reporting facility has just added Northern Ireland Super Output Areas (NISOAs – equivalent of Lower Layer Super Output Areas). I was just looking at where the lowest residential crime rate area is in NI and the answer was Ardboe, half of which covers Lough Neagh and is a very large NISOA at over 2,000 hectares. At the other end of the scale is Shaftsbury_1 which unsurprisingly is right in Belfast City Centre with a much smaller geographic footprint of 113 hectares.
This however does not tell the whole story because the daytime population of Shaftsbury_1 is nearly 15 times higher than the residential one, at 32,000. City centres have much higher footfalls and you have to adjust for that. And we can.
So now weighted for daytime population, which NISOA and lowest and highest crime rate over the last 12 months?
The highest is Botanic_3 at 584.967 and the lowest is Rostulla_2 at 6.232 crimes and ASB incidents per 1,000 daytime population. If there’s one stand-out difference, it is that Botanic 3 is just 17 hectares.
I often wonder if urban planners in their quest for greater urban density are considering enough the impact that density may have on overall crime rates.