Crimes involving Facebook up 346 percent: Police


London: Crimes involving social networking site Facebook have increased by 346 percent in less than a year, a police report said.

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Incidents of abuse or other crimes involving the site reported to Nottinghamshire police rose to 58 between April 2009 and February 2010 from 13 the previous year.

This led to six people being charged with offences, compared with three in the previous year.

Harassment was the crime most frequently reported to involve Facebook in the past year, accounting for 36 of the 58 incidents, Detective Sergeant Harry Parsonage was quoted as saying by

“For crime that involves communication, Facebook is just a method of communication. Essentially Facebook is no different from any other part of the internet,” said Parsonage, who manages the force’s e-crime unit.

Parsonage said: “We don’t know what part Facebook played in each offence. All we know is at some point within each crime there is some mention of Facebook.”

A spokeswoman for the site said it was no surprise that it was being mentioned in reports of crimes, given its huge growth in users in the past 20 months.

“With active monthly users rising from 100 million globally in August 2008 to more than 400 million globally in February 2010, Facebook’s name is featuring more frequently in the conversations we are all having every day and being used as a tool for raising awareness of issues such as knife crime through to political activism in Iran.

“The correlation between the growth of the service and its mention in crimes is probably the same for any number of digital platforms that have entered our everyday lives in recent years, from the mobile phone to email,” she said, adding that the site has “robust reporting system to flag any criminal acitivity.”