British Police Vilified Social Media, Now Use It to Catch Rioters

Like the Metropolitan Police in London, the Greater Manchester Police force is using Flickr and Facebook to identify suspected rioters in Manchester and Salford.

The GMP reviewed footage from its CCTV feed and posted images to the force’s Flickr account Wednesday morning. The GMP has asked that anyone who recognizes those pictured contact the appeal line or anonymously report to Crimestoppers.

The GMP is also encouraging members of the community to post pictures of rioters to the force’s Facebook page or website (see screen shot below). At least one individual has already given himself up because of a picture on Facebook that shows him committing a crime.

“The biggest difference we can make is bringing people to justice,” Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said at a press conference Wednesday. “You’ve seen some of the images that we’ve already got and there will be other images made available on Flickr, but we’re asking anybody with information about their neighbors, about their family, about anyone they know who was responsible for criminality last night” to report to the GMP.

Overnight, the GMP made 113 arrests – the youngest was 15 years old – Chief Constable Peter Fahy said at the press conference.