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UK police in riot gear. Photo by: Bobaliciouslondon

If you’ve been out looting, smile. You are now an infamous Internet celebrity.

After being criticized for their lack of presence during the riots in London, and in an apparent attempt to prove they are actively working on arresting the looters, the British police are now using social media to hunt down, arrest and humiliate the convicted.

Using the Internet’s reach to accelerate their investigations and encouraging people to come forward with any information, The Metropolitan Police released a flickr stream with photos of suspects caught in the act.

Flickr stream of Greater Manchester's police showing suspects caught on camera.

But in this multimedia world we live in, why just have photos when you can also have videos? Many arrests were also filmed and shared on their Youtube channel.

And since whipping posts are so outdated nowadays, The Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is also actively using twitter to post names, birthdays and addresses of the convicted looters in order to notify the public, prevent innocent people with the same name from being confused, and most probably to humiliate the guilty.

Tweet containing name, address and birthday of a looter by UK police.

It is worth noting that personal information of criminals are public records in the UK, but this is the first time different social media websites are being used to broadcast what used to appear in local or national newspapers on a much larger worldwide scale.

I can just imagine the extent of embarrassment, knowing that everything on the Internet is saved and archived by search engines for a lifetime.

With the 2012 Olympics right around the corner, I’d say the UK police are definitely working on improving their image.

World Events


About The Author

Daniel Nahabedian

Daniel left behind his cubicle in 2009 to start a RTW journey & follow his true passion: photography. He is currently settling down in Thailand to work on his Travel Photo Blog Canvas of Light & become a full time freelance Travel Photographer.

  • Ian MacKenzie

    We saw the same reaction in Vancouver… which initially feels like ‘serving justice’ yet is highly problematic.  Consider – would you want to live in a society where your every move is recorded and turned in… not by police cams, but by your neighbours?   I think that fosters a culture of mistrust and suspicion… something London/Vancouver need less of, not more.

  • Bessie Crum

    This is the less talked about side of social media – it can be used for social revolution/movements/etc and also the people wishing to stop it. Nice roundup, Daniel.

  • Jennifer

    Wow, My best fríènd ,she just has annóuncéd hér wēddīng wīth a mīllionairě mān who is a cèlèbrìty !They mèt via~~~S’u'c’c'e’s's’f'u’l`m`i`n`g`l`e.C/0/M~~~~ is the lārgēst and bēst clúb for cělêbrīty and theìr àdmirèrs to chát ōnlìnè. …You do nǒt hávè to bê rīch ór fāmóùs. ,bùt yōu cān meēt yóùr trùē lòvê , It’s wòrthy ǎ try!

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