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December 14, 2010

Crimes linked to Facebook on the rise

UK police received 7,545 calls from the public since January this year that were concerned with Facebook

By CBR Staff Writer

Over 100,000 crimes in the UK are linked to social networking website Facebook in the last five years, according to media reports.

The Daily Mail quoted police chiefs from 16 forces across the country as saying that there were 7,545 calls from the public since January this year that were concerned with the social networking site.

Police were alerted by people for alleged acts of terrorism, missing pets, sudden deaths, frauds, sexual offences, hate crimes, and firearms offences, as well as a large number of malicious messages on the website.

In 2005, there were just 1,411 calls to police related to Facebook, according to the figures obtained by The Daily Mail via the Freedom of Information Act requests.

Since then, criminals have used the website to make threats, intimidate, bully and harass.

A spokesman for children’s charity Kidscape was quoted by The Daily Mail as saying that these figures are quite alarming, but they reflect the growing use of Facebook by the general population.

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However, a Facebook spokesperson said while there is a correlation between Facebook’s growing size and the number of calls, there is no evidence to suggest that the use of Facebook was the cause or carrier of these criminal acts.

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