How to mug off your smartphone thief

000Earlier this year I wrote a post about how the “Find my iPhone” app had helped British Transport Police both recover a stolen iPhone and arrest the thief. At the end of the post, I speculated that in the future smartphones would be able to: “scan any new user’s retina to confirm it has been stolen,  and then report the crime itself (by e-mail, text or Twitter), complete with a photo of the thief and …

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Facebook fools

00000It’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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ET phone home: Smartphones and crime prevention

00000  One of the downsides about any form of new technology is that it is inevitably expensive and attractive to thieves. Over the years, burglars have focused on Video Recorders, DVD players and, now, Flatscreen TVs. Car thieves have moved from car radios via CD players on to SatNavs, although even those are no longer of sufficient value to interest most opportunists. In the same way, the advent of mobile phones has been responsible for …

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How to get a day off work with Facebook

00000The 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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Who needs tasers when you’ve got Twitter?

00000There are now 640 UK Cops who Tweet in their official capacity – 80 more than when I wrote this post a couple of months ago.  Tweeting is great for community engagement and intelligence gathering but this week’s Finally Friday looks at some bizarre incidents when Twitter was actually used to effect an arrest.   First, have you ever seen something bad happening on a tube train but felt too intimidated to get involved? Down the tubes …

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Public Punishment – the Facebook wall of shame

00000Public punishment and humiliation has taken different forms in different societies over the years; from the pillory and stocks in mediaeval England, through chain gangs in the American South to amputating thieves’ hands in countries which operate strict forms of Shari’a Law such as Saudi Arabia. The ultimate form is of course public executions – twenty three countries carried out capital punishments in 2010 according to Amnesty International. Anyone who has read Foucault’s “Discipline and …

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Detection by Facebook: Not always an idle boast

00000In the world of  books and films,  it has always been cool for the best criminals to boast about their misdeeds, provided it is done with style. When the Phantom steals the Pink Panther diamond, he leaves his monogrammed glove as a clue. Raffles,  gentleman thief and cricketer,  stole a gold cup from the British Museum and then posted it to Queen Vitoria as a Diamond Jubilee present. The doyen of cool miscreants must be Cary …

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