Finally Friday

I’m sorry Sir, it’s against the law

There are plenty of arcane, not to say bizarre laws in the UK. However, as usual, our US cousins outdo us in the strange and wacky department. There are American states where you can’t use public transport for four hours after eating garlic, where men with moustaches can’t kiss women and where the value of Pi is not 3.14, but 4…

When Selfie stands for self-incrimination

Celebs do them, teenage girls do them, even educated fleas do them. Selfies – digital self-portraits which are then posted online – are all over the internet. The advent of Vine has provided yet another outlet for the self-obsessed to add to the usual suspects of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube. This post gives a couple of examples of how self-obsession by criminals can cause more than social embarrassment.

How cops used Twitter to catch a fish like Wanda

Finally Friday is an occasional series of posts taking a light-hearted look at how social media and law enforcement interact in unintended ways. I’ve posted before about criminals at large taunting police on social media, with varying degrees of success. The case of Wanda Lee Ann Podgurski is a worthy addition to the catologue. Ms Podgurski is a serial fraudster who was convicted in January 2013 of dishonestly acquiring $650,000 from fake insurance and disability claims. Wanda set up a Twitter account and followed just one other tweeter – San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis…

She promptly went on the run.

Send me directly to jail

Finally Friday is an occasional series of posts which look at the lighter side of life. In particular, I delight in rounding up examples of criminals whose own stupidity is the main reason they were brought to justice. There have been a couple of distinctive examples over the last month featuring drug dealers and reckless drivers who incriminated themselves in ways only available in the digital age.

Ganging up on social media

I’ve written several times about the different uses that both criminals and law enforcement officials make of new technologies and social media in particular to outwit each other. This week’s post focuses on how gangs use social media and how police respond. Gangs use social media to brag Gang members use the whole range of social media platforms to spread inflammatory messages and encourage rival gangs to respond. At a recent ABC News sponsored gang …

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Friday 2013

To ease us all into 2013, I thought it was time for another round up of bizarre social media and law enforcement stories; you can find more in the Finally Friday category. Three stories have taken my eye recently.     1. The Dopey Drug Dealer Ever made that classic mobile phone mistake when you send the same text to everyone in your address book? A 29 year old from Stafford did. He texted: ‘Safe …

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Home security firms get the Christmas spirit

We’ve been surrounded by Christmas-themed advertising for about three months now. We expect mainstream retailers to surround us with Santas and reindeer, holly and tinsel – not to mention “Buy 2, Get 1 Free” offers. For other businesses, boosting sales at the festive season is more of a challenge. I particularly admire the chutzpah of this home security firm:   Happy Christmas and see you in 2013   Created by    

Facebook: Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide

I’ve written before about the, often ludicrous, ways in which criminals have advertised their crimes on social media and ended up being apprehended as a result. This week, three rather more serious stories which demonstrate how difficult Facebook makes it to stay anonymous in the 21st Century. First, a story from the US on the new difficulties facing undercover law enforcement personnel. Woman arrested for posting Facebook photos of undercover cop A Texas woman was arrested …

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Advise, Assist and Unfriend

Probation officers use social media for many different reasons. Promoting the work of the service. Building alliances with local commissioners and other stakeholders. Discussing best practice around desistance etc. Keeping up to date with criminal justice policy and research. Recently, they’ve also started to monitor high risk offenders via their use of Facebook in particular. In fact, in the US, probation officers have even used Facebook to track down offenders who have breached their orders. …

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Facebook Fools 2: Man bites Dog

  Many a Finally Friday post has focused on the recklessness and straightforward stupidity of criminals who have advertised their offences on social media and been promptly arrested. This week’s frivolous post looks at similar foolhardy acts committed by police and prison officers who really should have known better. As Alfred Harmsworth famously said: “When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a …

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Facebook fools

It’s been a bit of a stressful month for criminal justice professionals. Probation and prison services have been falling out over their competing alliances with different private sector companies. Police officers now have to do annual fitness tests, although won’t be paid on the number of arrests they make. So, in the spirit of FinallyFriday, here are some lighter stories from the world of crime to ease you into the weekend.   Judgement Day Did …

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Bringing criminals to (Face)book

There are plenty of posts on this site about how police have used Facebook to track down criminals and even more about how criminals have used Facebook to brag about their crimes and get themselves arrested. I usually post this sort of material on a Friday to give readers a light-hearted head-start into the weekend. Now the Criminal Justice Degrees Guide has put together a very nice infographic on the same theme: “20 cases solved …

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How to get a day off work with Facebook

The first Finally Friday post of 2012 returns to a favourite theme – how criminals use social media to brag about their offending and get themselves caught, in the most comical or ridiculous ways. The most straightforward way to get caught is to commit a crime and then post a photo of yourself on Facebook brandishing your ill-gotten gains, as many rioters did in the UK this summer. This is now so commonplace that the …

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A finally festive Friday: Planking post-Eric Sykes

For the last finallyFriday of 2011, the topic is a frivolous and festive celebration of planking. More specifically, keeping to the theme of this Blog, planking in criminal justice settings. For the few of you who don’t know, 2011 was the year that planking went viral. In a nutshell, planking is no more than lying facedown in an unusual or incongruous location, flat-out like a plank. Integral to the game is posting a photo of …

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