You wouldn’t necessarily think of Facebook as a crime buster but the NYPD says their use of social media sites actually contributed to a sharp drop in murder rate in New York for the first two months of 2013.
In an interview with the New York Post, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says that the murder rate in the city took a sheer 33-percent drop for the first two months of the year.
All of that is in part thanks to New York’s Finest using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to crack down on crime.
Commissioner Kelly says that the initiative – named Crew Cut – involves the gang units, patrol units and street narcotics units of precincts from around New York working together to form a specialized unit named Strategy Enforcement Teams (SETs).
Part of these new teams’ work is to monitor social media for things the authorities can use against groups of mischief makers.
One tactic the teams use is to gather threats from Facebook accounts or Twitter accounts of gang members.
These threats are used for conspiracy charges which have led to a spike in arrests. Consequently, as the city’s police department believes, this drive also results in a drop in crime rates – particularly murder – in the city.
Nonetheless, it’s not only social media that has helped lower murder rates in New York, Commissioner Kelly tells the publication, but also a better effort at stopping domestic violence.
Image from Mike Shade on Flickr (CC)