Every police force in England and Wales is offering online crime maps, which detail different offences broken down by geographical area.

"The Metropolitan Police began offering such a service in beta in August which went down to ward level - about every 600 households," reports The Register this week.

While this type of information has been used internally by the police to focus crime-fighting resources as efficiently as possible, it is the first time that it has been made publicly available.

Pop in your postcode

Neil Rhodes, spokesperson for the Association of Chief Police Officers, told The Register: "For many years, all forces have mapped crimes and incidents to help them focus investigations, analyse hot spots and tackle crime vigorously."

"The information now on the forces' websites has a different, more community-focused perspective, and means the public can now look at crime levels in their community simply by putting their postcode into their local police force's website."

The report adds that most of the crimes are broken down by types such as "burglary, robbery, vehicle crime and violence against the person and anti-social behaviour."

Check out London's crime map on The Met's version here, Derbyshire Constabulary's here and Greater Manchester's here and the full Home Office statement also available online here. [via The Register]