Hot Spots & Grot Spots

Information Gathering Activity


An activity that collects view about geographical areas

*You will need a clear map of the area you want to assess the impact of your work on, dots, flags or post it notes.

Example of how to use it:

Crime / Community Safety / Perception of the area
If an intended outcome of your service is to ensure that crime and perception of crime are low and that people do not move out of the area then you might use these performance measures.

Performance measure - Residents identify more hot spots than grot spot in their area

Time: 20 minutes

Why do we like it?

People engage well with maps and enjoy finding places they know, it doesn’t rely on strong literacy skills. It can inform future planning as well as assessing impact. This can be built up over time you don’t need everyone you want to consult to contribute to the map at the same time.
How does it work?

  • Ask the group to mark on the map, using the dots, flags or post it notes (these can be colour coded to collect several pieces of information at a time) areas that they like, don’t like, consider safe or unsafe.

  • You can ask very specific questions such as ‘where dog fouling is a problem’, ‘pleasant outdoor spaces for families’ or general topics as above according to what you want to measure.

Count the number and ratio of safe / unsafe places, note where perceptions have changed.

How to adapt it?
If you are using this as an end only evaluation then you can ask the group to flag areas that have improved.
If you are able to use the information ask why and what the group would do to make things better.

Why it works
It roots your questions clearly in the physical area, it is very practical and hands on, it allows a range of opinions, different people might consider the same are to be safe and unsafe.

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