Residents sharing crime photos on Whatsapp could hamper police investigations says Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch chairman
- Credit: Archant
Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch has spoken out about residents using Whatsapp to share footage of crimes.
Chairman Mark Glazer said posting photos and videos of suspects can actually hamper police officers building up a case.
“One thing that people don’t realise is that posting photographs and CCTV on social media can have a detrimental effect,” he said
“It can disrupt current investigations, especially if an identity parade is needed. If it has been shared on Whatsapp it could interfere with witnesses.”
Mr Glazer said there are “better ways to do things” and listed the free ap Trygve as an alternative.
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Used in Sweden since 2015, this app is said to take the ideology and objectives of Neighbourhood Watch and deliver them through digital technology.
Trygve has three main uses and users can activate a personal safety alarm which alerts family, friends and neighbours if they run into trouble.
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The alarm can also go off on a timer if you have not arrived back from a destination by a set time.
With the technology, participants can come to the aid of residents who have pushed the alarm button in an area near them.
“As well as not having a safety alarm, Whatsapp is too open,” added Mr Glazer. “It has too much irrelevant information spoken about in groups.
“It is better to set up a Neighbourhood Watch first and then get neighbours in a group through that - then you all know each other.”
The Metropolitan Police have also spoken about the importance of residents sharing any photos or CCTV of potential criminal activity with the authorities.
Clayhall Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) dedicated ward officer PC Kate King is urging any residents with Clayhall information, video or photo to email it to Clayhall.firstname.lastname@example.org along with the location, date, time and the incident it refers to.
Residents can find out who there SNT are by visiting met.police.uk/your-area.