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.
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And since whipping posts are so outdated nowadays, The Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is also actively using twitter to post names, birthdays and addresses of the convicted looters in order to notify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.
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.