Following the London looting and riots last week, Scotland Yard police launched a new initiative today called “Made From Crime” that allows users to report criminal activity anonymously on Facebook.
This follows the New York Police Department’s move last week to create a Facebook crime watch unit.
Scotland Yard’s Facebook initiative is the first scheme of its kind in the country and is backed by the government.
It makes full use of the country’s Proceeds of Crime Act, which allows officers to seize assets that have been purchased through criminal activity.
More than 41 million British pounds ($67 million) have been seized since enacted in 2002 and reinvested in community projects in Scotland, according to the Scotsman.
Police Assistant Chief Constable Iain Livingstone told the BBC:
We know there are people living beyond their means on the proceeds of crime… and that communities are suffering from the side effects of drug dealing, violence and other associated crimes. I personally appeal to local communities that have any information to come forward immediately… We will act on intelligence and bring offenders to justice.
According to the Edinburgh News, those who are unable to show exactly how they were able to pay for expensive goods could be pursued even if they are not convicted of a crime.
“I am delighted that this new initiative will allow people to use social media to report anonymously those who they see flaunting ill-gotten gains before them,” Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC told the BBC.
Readers, would you report an anonymous tip to police if you suspected a Facebook contact engaged in criminal activity?