Importantly, the game includes an add on called "Heroes and Villians" which could have a use in crime simulation. It seems to focus mostly on comic book style crime fighters and mob bosses, but might have the potential to simulate some interesting crime patterns. Given the success in simulating traffic, this might well be a useful tool. It will be interesting to see how it pans out and whether or not it can be used for more than just playing games.
For anyone interested, the developers of the game have also released a video showing how the simulation engine works. It's an excellent example of an agent-based model.
(Thanks to Andrew Crooks and Ed Manly for pointing me to SimCity and the Manchester work).