In a further sign that the old-school concept of bobbies on the beat is fading away, police are to be trained on how to use Facebook and Twitter to catch killers.
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According to the BBC, the move is “exactly what detectives need to tackle the challenges and complexities of modern policing effectively,” says deputy chief constable Nick Gargan, the acting head of the National Policing Improvement Agency.
The training course is likely to include such nuggets as how to friend a felon, and how to search for Facebook users who list murder, paedophilia or killing as their hobbies. Detectives will be encouraged to tweet, “Please can someone tell us who killed [name]. Lol. *sits back in anticipation of finding the culprit*”.
OK, perhaps we made those up. But the prevalence given in the national media (hello Daily Mail) to social media being the latest spawn of the devil and responsible for a growing list of society’s ills means the police will soon be turning to Facebook for clues.
Look out next for updated social media versions of the great crime novels: Murder on the Twitter Express; 140 little characters; The Big Tweet; The Maltese Facebook; The 39 followers; Murder must Tweet; The Postman always friends twice.
Any ideas for social media crime novels? A big LIKE to whoever comes up with the best suggestion.