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  • January 2nd, 2013

Sharp Rise in Social Media Crimes

Perhaps it’s not a surprise that there has been a rise in social media crimes as the UK, and the world, embraces outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act showed that the police received 4,908 reports of possible crimes linked to Facebook and Twitter in 2012. A sharp increase from the 556 reports filed in 2008.

Greater Manchester Police charged the highest number of people at 115.

The data included offences such as posting abusive messages, and those which were provoked by postings, including violent attacks. There were also numerous sexual offences reported including grooming as well as allegations of racially aggravated conduct and reports of fraud. The offences were committed on either Facebook or Twitter.

People Have the Right to Communicate

Chief Constable Andy Trotter of the Association of Chief Police Officers said “It is a new world for all and we could end up in a situation where each constabulary needs a dedicated Twitter squad.

“We need to accept that people have the right to communicate, even to communicate in an obnoxious or disagreeable way, and there is no desire on the part of the police to get involved in that judgment. But equally, there are many offences involving social media such as harassment or genuine threats of violence which cause real harm. It is that higher end of offending which forces need to concentrate on.”

The Director of Public Prosecutions recently announced new guidelines social media and on how people should be dealt with who abuse social media.

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