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NYPD Tells Britain To Embrace Social Media In Order To Beat Gangs

The Police crushing crime with the help of social media

New York police officers have offered some advice to Scotland Yard in relation to social media. They say that in order to defeat the ever-rising gang culture in London, they must embrace social media more effectively.

Social Media and the Law
Source: connected cops.cnet

US police offered the advice after admitting that evidence on the territories and memberships of gangs, and crimes committed by them, is now easier than ever due to the nature of social media. They also stated that tracking the electronic footprints of members had helped them locate and dismantle entire gangs in Manhattan.

Kevin O’Connor who is the assistant commissioner of the New York Police Department acknowledged that social media has changed, and this has helped the department. He mentioned how the evolution from Myspace to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram is now a major weapon for the force: “It’s getting easier and easier, not harder and harder [to obtain evidence]. All they've done is change venues from Facebook to Instagram. For instance, they post a picture standing in front of a rival’s territory saying: ‘where you at?’”

The use of social media to tackle gang culture has been a topic of discussion for a while in Britain, and just last week at an international summit in London, US criminologists said officers from Scotland Yard had displayed “tremendous interest.” It a relief that now the British police force are willing to accept that social media is a main player in how we as a culture communicate.

Professor David Kennedy, of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said that gangs’ need to brag, and these days that means creating a heavy social media presence, due to the wider audience this platform brings.

Social Media and the Law
Source: bostonglobe.com

He also acknowledged that a by-product of the increased use of social media, was that street graffiti had become almost obsolete. Previously, graffiti would have been a way of marking territory or communicating with other gangs, but they are not doing this anymore. The battle now takes place online for all to see, and he said that “Gangs talk about what they do on social media to an extraordinary degree.”

The NYPD’ s confidence in social media has risen since the Manhattan district attorney announced the largest indicted gang case in the city’s history. In the mammoth case, a total of 103 members of three violent gangs were charged, and O’Connor stated that it was evidence gained via social media that proved to be crucial in securing victory for the force.

It is certainly time for our police force to fully embrace the social media world, but there is also need to look at why gangs arise in the first place. It’s ok for the NYPD to preach their strategies abroad, but what is making young men and women turn to the gang lifestyle in the first place? Most reasons are unsavoury, and often point to cultural neglect. Lack of jobs for young people, poverty, social isolation, and lack of parental supervision all contribute to the horrible reality that people join gangs, and if the government would tackle these issues, then perhaps they wouldn't have to survey social media like a hawk.

Alex is an English Literature and Sociology undergraduate whose love for written word has led him to write about some obscure topics in his time. Currently a content writer at Social Media Frontiers, be sure to follow him @AlexSatSMF.

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NYPD Tells Britain To Embrace Social Media In Order To Beat Gangs Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 Rating: 5
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