Amongst all the hype created by some tabloid media outlets, many people including the police, are actually realising the potential Social Media can play in maintaining a safer community.
Police Assistant Commissioner Paul Wilson has mentioned in interviews that police are looking into using Facebook and Twitter to communicate more effectively with the community.
“How do we take alerts out to the community when there may or may not be a problem, how do we clarify facts and claims that have been made – the simplest and quickest way may be through social media.”
It sounds like the police are looking into something very worthwhile. Due to the two-way nature of social media, the police are able to not only issue warnings to the community about potential dangers and threats, but they are able to get more information about these threats and respond to tip-offs. While it definitely won’t stop crime completely, it’s a great additional tool to the police officer’s crime fighting arsenal.
Neighbourhood watch groups would greatly benefit from social media integration. Facebook allows users to make groups. So what if everyone on your street belonged to the “Thompson St crime watch” group? Imagine how useful it would be, for example, if you got home and noticed your bike was stolen. All you’d have to do is log on, type in a post, warning people of bike thieves and asking if anyone had seen your bike and hopefully someone might have seen it or the bike-nappers. At the very least you might get some sympathy. And everyone would know you need a new bike for Christmas. 😉
So maybe not many streets would do that, but if something similar was implemented properly, could it possibly reduce crime?
What other ways can social media be used for bettering the community?
Do you think it has the potential to make our communities safer?
Perhaps you think it’s bad for the community and that it’s an invasion of privacy?
Let us know!