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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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, […]