Police to get Facebook tutoring


Police will undertake greater training in using modern technologies to help track and apprehend suspects.

Students will be taught how to make effective use of social media like Facebook and Twitter to help track down suspects as part of enhancements to the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) training.

Participants in the Initial Crime Investigators Development Programme, which has an intake of around 3,500 students every year, will learn the most effective ways of gathering evidence from computers, mobile phones and CCTV, among other technologies.

Furthermore, forces will be able to deliver the training over the web.

"It's all part of a continuous professional development for the police," an NPIA spokesman told IT PRO.

"There are obviously a lot of very able officers. Often they are in very specialist roles, so I think this is about making it more widespread to more detectives and investigators of all sorts."

Under law, police are obliged to explore all avenues when investigating crimes.

"In the increasingly technological world in which we live in, they are under an obligation to know how to use this technology," the spokesman added.

He explained that use of social networks could help officers build up a better "picture of evidence" about the relationship between a victim and an alleged murderer, for example.

"It is part of very regular updating of detective training to keep pace with trends in crime and society generally," the spokesman said.

Other bodies have called for greater modernisation of the police force in the UK. An Audit Scotland report released last week claimed the Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA) did not have adequate ICT resources.

Auditor general for Scotland Robert Black said the SPSA "needs to act quickly" to improve ICT provision.

Last month, the Government announced an extra 900 million would be used to target tax evaders and fraudsters with the use of better technology.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.