February 21, 2013

Social media sites change investigation methods

2-21-2013 Indiana:

Some criminals are posting about the crimes they commit, others post false leads

NDIANA — Technology is changing how police get information for investigations.

Facebook, Twitter and many other social media sites have become a new source of information for investigating police, according to Sergeant Tony Slocum, Indiana State Police.

Slocum said with the new technology some criminals are now posting and bragging about the crimes they commit. When criminals do that, he said, sometimes people see it and report it to the authorities.

“We use all resources at our disposal. Obviously with the way times have gone, quite often with some of our younger people, they are posting intent, pictures or bragging about what they have done,” Slocum said. “We have to use all avenues and if they think the investigators can use that resource to solve a crime then that is a resource we are going to utilize.”

Social media sites can also be a challenge for investigators, according to Slocum, as there are times when someone posts about committing a crime, or the intent to commit a crime, and didn’t actually do anything. They get some false leads in cases like that.

“The heart of police work is people, you still have to interview suspects and witnesses. Social media is just another piece of the puzzle to put a case together along with other evidence we collect. We know people like to brag on those sites, it can also be a hindrance if someone is bragging about a crime they didn’t commit,” Slocum said.

State police are not the only ones using social media sites. Police units all across the ...continued... by Lisa Brinker

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