It was interesting to read in the newspapers today that a criminal has gone on the run and is taunting police posting ‘catch me if you can’ on social media. I can’t remember exactly where this was but I believe it was a police force down South.
This is a new phenomenon for police forces to have criminals so openly taunt them through social media. They may have said such things some years ago but no-one is likely to have known apart from the individual and the police. Now everybody can see what is being said and the challenge that is being laid down.
In Greater Manchester Police we have had some great results with such cases. A case in Rochdale led to one man being arrested within seven hours of posting such a challenge to officers. It is vital for the police that they are able to deal with such individuals and ensure that they are brought to justice.
One of the positive things that has come from this use of social media by criminals is the way people respond to it. These challenges often prompt people to act because they want to see law and order maintained in their communities. People have a sense of justice and don’t want to see people getting away with criminal activity. In many cases that I have seen at close hand it is the response from the community that has had the biggest impact.
I hope that all police forces are alive to the fact that these online/digital taunts are taking place and are able to swiftly respond to show they will bring offenders to justice.