Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Crime Facebook Your Rights Online

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.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Fighting Crime With Facebook

Comments Filter:
  • Contacting people (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @07:03PM (#36902312)
    Looks like "walking the beat" and being in contact with people matters. Who would have thought?
  • Re:I wonder.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NFN_NLN ( 633283 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @08:18PM (#36902848)

    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.

    So Facebook is a success.

    The CIA tried creating a database of people but found the manpower far to expensive to be feasible. The only way was to crowd source the work. If they could trick 'idiots' into updating their own profile, law enforcement wouldn't have to work as hard to find information, and it would be virtually free. Welcome to Facebook, any governments wet dream.

  • Re:Vancouver Riot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mad Merlin ( 837387 ) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @09:49PM (#36903488) Homepage

    In this case, yes, it absolutely was. The riots were caused because a sports team lost a game.

    If you want to riot, riot over something that matters.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27