Could your Facebook profile get you acquitted?

Facebook has become a key tool in police investigations. Police routinely access suspects’ Facebook pages to look at recent activities and establish connections between offenders or offender and victim. Facebook helps police make arrests. Tracking on Facebook can often help police anticipate a wanted person’s whereabouts and expedite arrest. Facebook is the reason for collapse […]

How a new smartphone app can save lives

Naloxone training app I am writing this post to celebrate the launch of the new @UTurntraining smartphone app which is dedicated to preventing deaths caused by opiate overdoses. The app was launched on 16 January 2012 and is available for download from the Android marketplace for the sum of £1.99. UPDATE: 15 May 2012 – […]

Inside Facebook: the rise of the cell phone

 Cell phones This is the third in a series of posts about the use of social media in different parts of the criminal justice. The use of mobile phones in prison has been an increasing problem over the last 10 years. I was part of a team which conducted an extensive study into prison drug […]

Public Punishment – the Facebook wall of shame

Public 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 – […]

Detection by Facebook: Not always an idle boast

In 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 […]

Applying ourselves to prevent drug overdoses

The mobile phone application market is huge, over half a million apps for iPhone and quarter of a million for Android phones. As I write this, today’s top trending app in the Android Market is Buka HD – just £1.49 will buy you a game which features a big blue bubble whose purpose is to […]

Detection and arrest: in search of the invisibility vibe

“An invisible man can rule the world”, says Claude Rains starring in the first movie version of The Invisible Man. I’ve been thinking a lot about the pros and cons of being invisible, or at least anonymous, over the last week or so. Offenders have always  sought to hide from the law and police officers […]

#researchmethods: Using social media for social research

I recently evaluated a pilot project which used online surveys to get local peoples’ views on policing priorities (A virtual approach can mean real engagement). As part of the evaluation, I utilised web-based survey software to gather the views of participants. It was quick and easy to use and succeeded in getting a very high […]

There’s more to Facebook than organising revolutions and riots

Back in the 1980s the answer to everything was 42. Douglas Adams’ joke “ultimate answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything” started off as a cult among schoolboys (and one or two schoolgirls), and spread to computer science geeks before entering the mainstream via the Internet. New research in 2011 has […]