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Fighting Crime With Facebook 71

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Demond Fernandez writes that Facebook has become a hot, new crime fighting tool for police in Conroe, Texas. Sergeant Joe Smart says Conroe police have been using its Facebook page to profile suspects and criminals since May — like a woman accused of stealing credit cards, masked gunmen caught on tape burglarizing a local store and a suspected computer thief, who the department's Facebook friends just helped police catch. 'It works. The witnesses are looking at it and they are giving us information,' says Smart. Police say Facebook friends in Conroe already helped them catch two wanted suspects and gather leads on several other open cases. Apparently the idea of using facebook to catch criminals is getting picked up in other places as the Toronto Police Service announced their goal is to have about 175 officers with online profiles by early November. 'We've prevented some pretty serious incidents simply because people reached out to the few police officers that were using social media,' says Constable Scott Mills, the force's social media officer. 'This is going to lead to a lot more trust and a lot more transparency.'"
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Fighting Crime With Facebook

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  • Re:I wonder.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by m2vq ( 2417438 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @07:18PM (#36902414)
    They aren't filtering anything or violating personal privacy. They're posting information and pictures on their page so that people can visit it (or see updates on their facebook status updates) and leave information if they know something about it. This all has been possible and done before, but now they're just using tools that are more accessible and relevant in the current generation. It's refreshing and good to see, actually.
  • Vancouver Riot (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mia'cova ( 691309 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @08:07PM (#36902780)

    The recent riot in Vancouver is an excellent example of this. The police probably caught a good hundred people directly thanks to social media. Maybe they would have found most of those people by other means.. but they basically had the worst offenders all identified within hours thanks to social media.

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