Here are some links to some of my recent work:
World War I project
This is the Newcastle version of our searchable widget showing the names and details of soldiers who died in World War I. This contributed to more than 400,000 uses of the widget across our titles in its first couple of weeks.
Gun crime in the West Midlands
Looking through a little-known Office for National Statistics spreadsheet, I found a tab about gun crime rates. The year-on-year statistics were clear: the West Midlands had overtaken London to have the highest gun crime rate in England and Wales. The Birmingham Mail immediately recognised the significance of the story, and it was followed up by The Times (£), the BBC and local media.
So-called ‘Fat Cat Tuesday‘ – the early January date by which FTSE 100 chief executives had already earned more than the average worker – spawned this idea. Type in your postcode and how much you earn and the Wage Gauge will tell you the date on which you would earn the national average salary of £22,481.
Britons abandoning Tunisia after Sousse
The dreadful attacks in Sousse, Tunisia in June 2015 left 30 Britons dead. I analysed data from the Civil Aviation Authority and saw that the numbers of air passengers from the UK to Tunisia plummeted year-on-year afterwards. There are no direct flights between the UK and several of the country’s airports.
I scraped data from Parliament’s e-petitions website on how many people signed the call to legalise cannabis in each constituency and matched it to population data to show proportionally how keen people were on making the drug legal in each seat. It turned out parts of Brighton, Bristol and Glasgow were most enthusiastically in favour of a change in the law. I produced an eye-catching Google Fusion map to go with it.
Hoax 999 calls
Freedom of information requests to ambulance trusts revealed that parts of central Middlesbrough and Belfast were the worst in the North East and Northern Ireland respectively for falsely dialing 999 for ambulances.
Drugs in prison
Analysis of Ministry of Justice figures showed that one in seven prisoners at HMP Northumberland tested positive in drugs tests despite being behind bars, prompting an MP to call for a review of the contract with Sodexo to run the facility.
As soon as the deadline for buying so-called ‘pensioner bonds’ shortly after the election, I submitted a freedom of information request to National Savings and Investments asking for postcode level (e.g. M4, NE10) data on who purchased them.
I combined that data with Office for National Statistics (ONS) data of postcodes and parliamentary constituencies, and was able to show how several of the areas where the scheme was most popular happened to be in key Conservative target seats.
I calculated from official statistics how much it would cost to pay off Private Finance Initiative (PFI) costs in our titles’ areas. This was a splash for the Birmingham Post and was also picked up by the Daily Post in North Wales and the Coventry Telegraph.