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As the Prime Minister condemned social networks for being "used for ill" this morning, police forces across the country sent a steady stream of tweets confirming arrests connected with inciting violence via the likes of Twitter and Facebook.

"Three people have been arrested on suspicion of using Twitter and Blackberry Messenger to incite violent disorder..." tweeted Hampshire police earlier today.

Hampshire's Twitter feed has done a good job of reducing fears of imminent melt-down and repeatedly requested people not use the service to pass on rumour. Top tweets included: "There have been NO riots/looting in #Southampton or anywhere across #Hants. Our advice is to keep calm and carry on as normal." and the almost maternal: "Hi Gemmie, can you contact HantsPolice on 101 pls? You're not in any trouble. It's regarding your tweet about adlershotFC. Thanks!".

And, although rioting has so far been an England-only affair, police have reportedly been rounding up individuals who have taken to social networks to encourage looting and thuggery in Wales.

Chief Superintendent Josh Jones of the South Wales police force said:

“Monitoring of social networking sites has continued and despite some efforts to generate disorder in our communities these have failed. Anyone who is found to incite criminal activity will be traced and dealt with by the police."

Cops across England have been using Twitter to warn people against false alerts and rumours that circulated on the micro-blogging site at the height of the troubles.

“We have seen the benefits of social media being used responsibly. We thank the community for their ongoing support,” said West Midlands chief super Phil Kay a few hours before Cameron moaned about the networks.

"We are aware of rumours circulating on social networks which are untrue, unhelpful and intended to increase tension between communities," said Scotland Yard this afternoon.

"Those involved in the violent disorder and thefts over the past few days are not from any single race, religion or community group. This is unnecessary and we urge people to stop using recent events as an opportunity to cause unrest."

Meanwhile the government's e-petitions site had another crap day. It was only available intermittently and no new petitions appeared today - suggesting a stunning lack of interest or technical problems.

The call for: "Convicted London rioters should loose all benefits." had received 97,541 votes at the time of writing.

If the site stays available for another two hours it will easily pass the 100,000 vote barrier. ®

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