By the end of the year, we should all be able to get access to local crime information for our area.

The government is promising that new online, interactive maps are going to go live by the end of the year.

They will show every neighbourhood in England and Wales - and pinpoint where crimes have happened right down to the street for some categories.

They will compare crime levels between different areas and explain how crime is being tackled by their local neighbourhood policing team.

Forces already using crime maps in England include West Midlands and West Yorkshire police.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has said capital-wide crime-mapping will be available to Londoners from next month.

He said of the maps that they are "a proven technique for increasing public safety and for putting extra resources, including extra police officers, into crime hotspots where they are most needed".

The Home Secretary hopes that the maps will keep the public better informed as to what's happening in their area.

Already, members of the public can access monthly crime statistics from the website of their local police force in a scheme that's been running since July.

The virtual maps are part of the Policing Green Paper reforms announced by Jacqui Smith earlier this month.