Scots report crime using Facebook

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Facebook has revealed a new system in conjunction with the Scottish Lothian and Borders Police whereby users can report criminal activity and concerns to police using the social networking site.

The "Made From Crime" initiative allows Internet users to anonymously report their concerns to police on a dedicated Facebook page that is being established to direct people with tip-offs to Crimestoppers. Police will also be able to send mass Bluetooth messages to mobile phones at public events like football matches to encourage the public to report crime.

Designed to make use of the Proceeds of Crime Act, it will be the first of its kind in Scotland with the Scottish government, the Crown Office, and Procurator Services constituting the foundation of the service. Their backing will allow officers to seize assets that have been purchased through criminal activity.

Assistant Chief Constable Iain Livingstone of Lothian and Borders Police has stated to the public: "We know there are people living beyond their means on the proceeds of crime, be it through the purchase of flash cars, designer clothes or expensive jewellery, and that communities are suffering from the side effects of drug dealing, violence and other associated crimes".

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill states that Lothian and Borders Police is tackling the problem of dirty money that has been obtained through criminal activity in a serious matter. Constable Livingstone has encouraged this, appealing to local communities to provide information and come forth immediately either to Crimestoppers or the Lothian and Borders Police.

Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC has affirmed that they will take a robust approach to those that profit from crime, using the vast powers at their disposal though the Proceeds of Crime Act.The act has resulted in more than £41 million (US$67.09 million, 46.66 million) in seizures from crooks. It has been utilised in new community projects in Edinburgh, the Lothians and throughout Scotland.