Last year I was invited to Nesta and the ODI’s kick off meeting for their Crime and Justice open data challenge by Simon Whitehouse the lead on the challenge. This meeting set out the aims for the challenge which included finding ways to increase community engagement in the criminal justice system or a way of reducing personal crime. Fast-forward nine months and now it’s exciting to say we now have a winner of this challenge prize.
Yesterday Check That Bike was announced winner of the Crime and Justice challenge. Check That Bike is a website that allows people to see if their bike is stolen by checking its frame number against stolen bike data. By inputting the unique frame number of the bike into Check That Bike’s website, cyclists are able to see whether the bike they are about to purchase is stolen or not allowing them to make a better decision about buying a second hand bike at the time they’re actually buying it.
Over 536,000 bikes are stolen every year, one every 67 seconds with only a tiny number recovered and returned to the owner. The judges felt ‘Check That Bike’ was an innovative solution to a problem experienced in many cities across the UK and one that often put people off of buying bikes. They also felt that it provides the bike community – a highly active and engaged community – with an easy to use services in tackling personal crime directly.
This is the first winner of a challenge prize series that Nesta and the ODI are running together that focus on data called the Open Data Challenge Series. It launched in March 2013 and will run seven challenges over a two year period. The next challenge focuses on education and how open data can help parents to better understand how their child is performing compared to others and make more informed decisions on their children’s education.
More on this challenge and the Open Data Challenge Series can be found here: http://www.nesta.org.uk/project/open-data-challenge-series