Content Marketing Blog

Social media a growing tool in the fight against crime

New research has found that Twitter and Facebook are no longer merely tools for sharing fresh content and maximising your social media strategy – they are now being used to assist in criminal investigations as well.

The study, released by LexisNexis Risk Solutions on July 18, showed that four out of five law enforcement officers working in the US are now using social media for investigative purposes.

Activities such as identifying the location of criminal activities, identifying persons of interest and anticipating crimes that may be occurring are all amongst the law enforcement tasks which are now being performed via social media.

"Investigation and analysis of social media content provides a huge opportunity in terms of crime prevention and offender apprehension," said LexisNexis Risk Solutions government solutions consultant Samantha Gwinn.

Last week we reported on the technology Facebook is using to help track down and prevent criminal activities, and this new research is further proof of the innovative ways in which social media is being used to help make our lives better.

The survey also found that 80 per cent of law enforcement officials claim to be self-taught when it comes to using social media in their line of work.

That figure is perhaps an indication that with further training this resource could become even more effective in the fight against crime.

"As law enforcement personnel continue to participate in formal training and gain an increased comfort level with the power and scope of social media, as well as its limitations, the value it provides will continue to rise," added Ms Gwinn. 

Interestingly, it was smaller communities who seemed to be making the most of social media to help them catch the bad guys.

An astonishing 86 per cent of law enforcement officers working in cities of less than 50,000 people reported that they were using social media in their line of work, compared to just 78 per cent in cities with populations over 100,000.

More than 1,200 US law enforcement officers were surveyed as part of the study, which was conducted in March 2012.

Posted by Zak Wash