Solving crime with social media

I have posted regularly about the ways in which the police are increasingly using social media, not just to engage with local communities but to gather intelligence and pursue investigations.

The iPlod generation is mainly self-taught but developing a more sophisticated approach each month.

However, the UK is still playing catch up with the use of social media by law enforcement agencies in the US.

A recent survey found that 80% of law enforcement personnel use social media to conduct investigations.

Interestingly, 87% search warrants which use social media to establish “probable cause” are confirmed as legal when challenged in court.

As you can see below, most of this information is garnered from a very lovely infographic produced by Background Check:
Solving Crime with Social Media
Compiled By: BackgroundCheck.org
If you are interested in US law enforcement use of social media, I highly recommend the ConnectedCops website and following its creator, @LawsComm on Twitter.

1 thought on “Solving crime with social media”

  1. Hi Russ,

    First, thanks for the plug. 🙂

    I have to say though that many agencies/officers in the U.S. think that policing in the UK are “way ahead” in using social media. It’s just perception that the grass is always greener, no? I don’t tell them otherwise, BTW.

    I think these surveys are great. It’s nice to see that LE is getting research attention but I think the people who fill them out are the ones who use it so it might be a bit skewed.

    Take a look at this very recent study that included UK that said 72% of citizens believe police should use SM to solve crime.
    http://www.accenture.com/us-en/Pages/insight-police-maximizing-technology-engage-citizens-summary.aspx

    And while we’re on the topic of surveys, here’s another about police use of social media that I’m supporting. It’s part of the European COMPOSITE project. We’d love to get MUCH more input from the UK from those using social media as well as those who aren’t.
    http://erim.3uu.de/uc/pbayerl/83ec/ospe.php3?SES=5a4fefab0645cb979bec71d3bbd999da&syid=24566&sid=24567&act=start&js=16&flash=1003

    I had a conversation with Gordon Scobbie a while back about these perceptions that one country is more sophisticated in its use of social media in policing than another. We agreed that one is not better, but just different. What we need is more collaboration. I’m getting a little weary of preaching this topic because it seems everywhere in the world police agencies don’t like to share what they have/know with the agency next door let alone across continents.

    Cheers Russ, and thank you for your excellent blog. ~Lauri

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