Feeds

Essex cops slaps cuffs on social media riot crusaders

Fiendish Facebook users suspected of inciting violence

The Power of One Infographic

Eager Essex fuzz have cuffed three locals lads suspected of using social media site Facebook to whip gangs of teenage marauders into a looting frenzy.

An 18-year-old man from Grays and a 16-year-old from South Ockendon were taken into custody yesterday morning, where they remain, and a 17-year-old who was caught at around 5pm was released on bail until 23 August while investigations continue.

The boys in blue said the yoofs tried to drum up Facebook support for a gathering at an unnamed location somewhere in the county, best known for slappers and boy racers.

"If people use social networking sites inappropriately to stimulate rumours we will do our best to track the individuals down and if they have committed offences under criminal law we will deal with them," said acting chief constable Maurice Mason.

Police forces have been criticised for their inadequate response to the unprecedented riots that started in London at the weekend and spread across the rest of the country on Monday and yesterday.

Gangs of looters used Twitter and Facebook to tip off other like-minded thugs to trash and burn High Streets and make off with goods. The use of Blackberry IM has also played a part in some of the co-ordinated attacks.

Some 50 officers from Essex police, like other forces across the country, were drafted in to help the Met, as no large scale disorders have yet occurred in their locale; just four incidents have been recorded so far.

But Mason insists they are operating a zero tolerance policy toward anyone inciting violence on social media sites or in the physical world.

"We will not tolerate this kind of behaviour in Essex," he said.

The Reg reported earlier today that a Scottish teen was also arrested for using Facebook to try and stir up trouble in Glasgow, even though the city has yet to witness any violence; well, outside of the norm anyway.

Hampshire police are also clamping down on kidults who use social media to encourage copycat riots and have urged parents to keep a close eye on the surfing habits of their children. But they seem to be taking a "stern words" approach rather than making arrests.

"Some of these threats are being made by teenagers who don't quite realise the implications of their words," said chief superintendent Karen Manners.

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet
Swedish court refuses to withdraw arrest warrant
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.