When quiet Agar Place, a tiny cobbled road in Camden Town, was declared one of Britain’s most crime-ridden streets, its residents were puzzled. Then they realised the effect the news might have on the value of their homes and they became angry.
Though most had never been troubled by burglars, according to the Home Office Crime Map, published for the first time last month, Agar Place clocked up 59 crimes in a single month, making it Britain’s 17th most crime-hit road.
Now, after protests, the reason has been revealed, casting doubts on the usefulness of the new map: a single disturbed caller had made up to six calls a day to the police, claiming to have witnessed a string of non-existent crimes and each one was recorded. Police wore forced to log each all separately, making it appear that the street was a crime hotspot.
The latest set of crime data, for January, is due to be added to the crime map this week. A spokesman for Camden council said that it “cautiously welcomed” the initiative, despite the Agar Place situation. “We will be continuing to work with the police to ensure that we use our resources to address the issues identified by them,” he said.