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Facebook a new tool in the police arsenal

If you “like” the work of police from the Port Stephens local area command you can tell them so on their Facebook page.
Nanjing Night Net

Police are using the social networking service for everything from looking for people of interest, to alerting the public to accidents to getting general feedback from the public.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox said the page, which can be found by searching for “Port Stephens LAC”, was already showing its worth.

“Already 248 people have accessed it so far,” he said. “The reaction has been really positive.”

Chief Inspector Fox said his command had already made arrests after posting pictures of people of interest on the site.

“In Newcastle they had a guy who surrendered himself and said ‘Can you take my picture off Facebook?’,” he

said.

While the page makes it clear that Facebook is not the place to report a crime, there are many ways police are able to use it to their advantage.

In one recent example, Chief Inspector Fox was able to dispel rumours that arrests had been made in an armed robbery case.

“We can also let people know little bits and pieces of how policing works,” he said.

“Recently we had a young lady who posted a message on the wall asking if there was anything she could do about a driver she had seen behaving erratically.”

He was able to tell her that police would either need to catch the driver in the act, or she and other witnesses would need to come forward and be prepared to go to court.

The Facebook site does not replace other forms of communication with the police.

Triple-0 is still used for emergencies, while the police assistance line 131 444 is used to report crimes. The Crimestoppers line is 1800 333 000.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.