Half of police time being spent on social media crime

Facebook Signup Page

At least half of the crime calls made to the police are a result of social media according to a senior police officer.

The BBC is reporting that half of police time is being spent on trying to deal with problems that arise from social media.

Chief Constable Alex Marshall told BBC 4's Law in Action that the rise in social media crimes is becoming a real problem for the police, and that 6,000 officers are currently undergoing new training in order to effectively deal with online crimes.

He said: "As people have moved their shopping online and their communications online, they've also moved their insults, their abuse and their threats online, so I see that it won't be long before pretty much every investigation that the police conduct will have an online element to it.

"It's a real problem for people working on the front line of policing, and they deal with this every day.

"So in a typical day where perhaps they deal with a dozen calls, they might expect that at least half of them, whether around antisocial behaviour or abuse or threats of assault may well relate to social media, Facebook, Twitter or other forms."

This is not much of a surprise really, Twitter and Facebook in particular have made it incredibly easy to front-up somebody online rather than face-to-face. So called "keyboard warriors" or "trolls" often think they are invincible when it comes to insulting, threatening or sending forms of racist abuse online.

There is no face-to-face contact so these people, who clearly have far too much time on their hands, can hide behind the comfort of their keyboards and computer screens.

The police are urging people who have been insulted on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to seek alternative action before calling them. It's very simple to block and unfriend/unfollow somebody on both platforms, and that will stop any further interactions.