Less Crime

Met Police Twitter map

As part of my interest in how UK police use Twitter, I’ve added a live-ish map showing all the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Twitter accounts and the most recent tweet from each account. The map updates every five minutes and automatically highlights the most-recent tweet and all accounts that have sent a tweet in the past hour.

Although the map is live-ish, to keep down calls to the Twitter API tweets are cached on a local server and then put on the map. This means that, depending on when you load the map you might not get the very latest tweets immediately.

At present I’ve only done this for the MPS because I have to geocode all the accounts manually and that takes time. I’ve geocoded borough and neighbourhood accounts to the geographic centre of the area that they serve, which may occasionally suggest an officer is based in the middle of a park (although I seem to have avoided any locations being in lakes). The main MPS account (@metpoliceuk) is geocoded to New Scotland Yard, @MPSinthesky to their base at Lippitts Hill, @MPSonthewater to their base at Wapping, @MPSSTC to their headquarters at Palestra in Blackfriars and @MetPoliceEvents to the Special Operations Room (or, in Daily-Mail speak, “secret bunker”) on Lambeth Road.

I couldn’t geocode some accounts such as @MPSOntheStreet, @MPSFootballUnit, @MPSSpecials, @CdrRodhouseMPS, @CdrLetchfordMPS and @BJH251 because they either don’t have a single base or I don’t know where they’re based. If you have locations for any of these accounts, please let me know on Twitter.

I haven’t tested the map on anything older than Internet Explorer 8, so if you’re using an old browser then browse happy (or ask your IT department to upgrade their software).