Facebook helps GMP crack crime

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) believes it is the first police force in the country to use the social networking website Facebook in a bid to fight crime.

Apr 24, 2008
By Paul Jacques

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) believes it is the first police force in the country to use the social networking website Facebook in a bid to fight crime.

A special application has been developed by the force’s web unit to raise awareness of local incidents, operations and appeals for information, allowing members of Facebook to install it on to their profile for regular updates.

The GMP ‘updates’ application provides users with real-time mini feeds about local news, appeals or missing persons stories. Each news story can be shared with the users ‘friends’ via a bespoke messaging service and comments can be posted regarding the news stories or about the application itself. In addition there is a homepage that features videos from GMP and other information links.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Taylor said it demonstrates the force’s commitment to exploring all avenues available to help fight and detect crime.

“Facebook has 59 million users, seven million of which live in the UK, so we realised that this was an excellent way of spreading our messages to people on a more personal basis,” he said.

“This application allows Greater Manchester Police to further raise awareness of incidents taking place within our local communities, in a bid to gain more intelligence and bring offenders to justice.”

Within a day of its launch around 300 people had already installed the application and the force expects numbers to increase dramatically as it is shared amongst a user’s friends.

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