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3 Social Media & Criminal Justice Stories

Criminal Justice System and Social Media: Working Together as a Team

The rise of the social media era came to its pinnacle upon the arrival of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. But accompanying this latest innovation is the rise of numbers of people taking advantage of these technologies to commit criminal offenses such as phishing, identity theft, hacking and the like, which was never the intention of these worldwide used social media sites. But what if our very own criminal justice system adapts to the changing world and uses the cyber world to their own advantage in catching these criminals? Listed below are 3 social media and criminal justice stories that will teach us how valuable these social media sites are to our justice system.

NYPD Tracks Criminals Through the Use of Facebook and Instagram

The New York City Police Department with its new Facial Recognition Unit, has developed a new facial recognition technology that enhances the capability of finding perpetrators by the use of enhanced digital features recognizing eye shapes, cheekbones, nose and other facial features. By using Facebook and Instagram, the software will start looking for photos matching descriptions found in their own database with the mug shots of known criminals and tracking them down, saving time and potentially dangerous investigations. How effective the system is? A woman reported her jewelries to be missing and was likely stolen by her pal’s boyfriend. The police, not knowing what the person’s name and face looks like, only knowing that the thief was most likely in her friend’s Facebook page, found a photo matching the thief’s face and got a hit on their database.

Trinity Police Department Uses Social Media in Investigating Crimes

One of the instances the Trinity PD has used social media to catch criminals was when a woman reported her wallet missing while paying for her groceries at Brookshire Brothers in Trinity, Texas. Seeing the CCTV footage of the store with a man taking the wallet and walking away, the Trinity Police Department took video stills from the video and posted it on social media sites Facebook and Nixel to encourage anyone to give information as to who the criminal was. A local citizen saw the post and reported the identity of the man in question to the authorities.

Thief Shows Off on Facebook, Got Caught

Frank McKee from Pennsylvania had his nativity Jesus figurine stolen a day after Christmas. But while he was just looking at Facebook pages of people from his town, he accidentally saw the stolen figurine pictured and posted on somebody else’s wall. Upon contacting the police and with the help of a juvenile accomplice, the person had confessed to stealing the figurine.

These 3 social media and criminal justice stories just showed us how valuable social networking sites can be even to the law enforcers. Whether it’d be a simple “do know this man?” posting or a high-tech facial recognition software, the social media helps a lot in catching small and hopefully big time criminals. And this can also serve as warning to everyone to simply obey the law, because the world maybe getting smaller to those who ignore it.

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About Christopher J McCann Guest Author

A Criminal Defense and DUI Attorney serving Southern California, including Orange County and Los Angeles County. Mr. McCann is experienced on OC DUI criminal defense topics and has contributed to several online media publications.

Posted in Social Networking.

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