Facebook Can Help Fight Crime in Your Community
Article by George Norman
On 07 Aug 2009
Social networking site Facebook, one of the most popular social networking sites out there, offers a great way to stay in touch with all your friends and acquaintances. Communicating and sharing all sorts of info via Facebook is quite an easy process, so why not use Facebook to share info about public safety? In order for the authorities to effectively enforce the law, they need the community to be involved – and in order to reach the community, an efficient way would be to use Facebook.

Facebook’s Scott Mills, police officer with the Toronto Police Service in Canada and Community Youth Office for the Toronto Crime Stoppers Program, has been using the popular social networking site for years now in an effort to get the community involved in enforcing the law.

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“For the last two years, I have used my Facebook account, as well as Facebook groups, events and Pages, to inform Toronto residents about crimes in their area and encourage them to provide anonymous tips. Messages can be broadcast quickly and easily to wide audiences with immediate feedback. Outreach through Facebook has helped Toronto Crime Stoppers sniff out threats against local schools, bring much needed help to people at risk of committing suicide, warn the public about criminals on the loose and even locate missing persons,” explained Scott Mills.

Mills goes on to say that thanks to Facebook, the authorities have been able to develop a “more meaningful” connection with the community. Facebook has been a great help in getting the word out on programs that Mills’ department runs – dance contests, BMX camps, graffiti competitions, and so on. These programs are meant to keep children off the street and out of harm’s way.

“I'm proud of the work we've done and passionate about the potential for tools like Facebook to aid law enforcement. Policymakers and police officers from around the world still have a lot to learn about how to use social media to build connections to enlist the public in preventing and solving crimes, but police departments in cities around the world are starting to take notice,” added Scott Mills.



Tags: Facebook, Authorities, Police, Community
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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