Social Media

Harnessing Social Media Tools to Fight

The challenges for police agencies has never been great as it today. The rising citizens' expectations and the changing crime types are all driving the police agencies to change and to be ready to transform. Although, transformation is a long journey for police agencies, the social media present number of opportunities to meet these future challenges. Today, policing have become a type of environment where sharing knowledge and information is the key. As the public has access to information that police needs, therefore, it is essential for police agencies to engage the public in the work that they're doing. This paper will discuss about how an increasing number of Canadian police organizations have already embraced the idea of utilizing free engagement tools such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, in solving crimes. The paper will also cover the level of assistance that social media networks has presented to police agencies in Canada and around the world to help enlarged their communication and interaction with the public, to improve effectiveness in catching more criminals and prevent more crimes.  

According to the 2013 Community Oriented Police Service (COPS) report, one in four citizens are active on social networking sites (Community Oriented Policing Services, 2013). Single social networking site, Facebook, alone claims to have over 1.32 billion monthly active users worldwide and at any given time, approximately half of them are always stay online, therefore, creating large amount of detailed information, evidences and crime witnesses for police to exploit (Noyes & Noyes, 2014).
To begin the introduction of this subject, some definitions and examples are necessary to understand the concept of social media. The Merriam-Webster dictionary (2014) defines social media as “forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and...