Yesterday (2011-02-01), the UK Police force launched a new website allowing you to see the number of crimes committed (and their type) in your area.
It looks like they were robbed!
Within hours of the site going live, it had crashed because of excess demand.
For some reason, they hadn't realised that this kind of information might be very popular, especially in the first few days after launch so they hadn't put the site on a server that was capable of handling such large numbers.
The few people that did manage to get in and look at the results have reported total inaccuracies. The road named as the most crime ridden (Glovers Court - a quiet street in Preston city centre) is listed as having 152 offences registered in December 2010. However, these figures are actually the total for the whole of Preston town centre.
On top of all of this, the website is not compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act. Now, 99% of websites aren't compliant with the DDA, but this is a police website!
And how much did this website cost?
Having looked through the website, I can't honestly see where this money has been spent. The complete functionality of the website could easily have been created for a tenth of that price. It's quite a simple website, just with lots of data. The data entry can be automated so the cost of putting the crime figures into the site should be minimal.
The only thing that the money could possible have been spent on, was a super-dooper server that could handle 5 million requests per hour.....but we know that's not true.
There's only one word to describe this fiasco....robbed!