CCTV of an alleged crime was shared on Facebook more than 680 times.
CCTV of an alleged crime was shared on Facebook more than 680 times.

YOUR SAY: Social media is a 'good thing' for catching crims

AFTER a man was charged with four counts of theft thanks largely to his alleged crime going viral on social media, local police discouraged residents from taking the law into their own hands.

Senior Sergeant Troy Salton of Lowood Police Station recently said the arrest was thanks to good police work helped by information provided by the public.

READ MORE: Thumbs down for social media 'vigilantism' despite arrest

However the police officer asked residents not to take the law into their own hands.

"It opens up a whole range of other issues," he said.

We asked you what you thought of the recent crimes which have been shared on social media.

Here's what you had to say:

"Before social media, crime rates in rural areas were per capita lower than city areas due to the fear of being shamed in the community. You were more likely to be known, and therefore caught," Scott Thomson said.

"Now, with social media, your face can be shared everywhere, increasing the chance you'll be recognised and caught even in city areas. It can only be a good thing."

Another reader completely disagreed with Snr Sgt Salton's comment that "it's better to provide footage to the police and not share it on social media".

"It keeps the police accountable by knowing we are watching. It means they can't just bury the crime in paperwork and procedure," killerjools said.

READ MORE: Gifts stolen by Christmas 'Grinch' returned for Christmas

Cam Jay said social media gave power back to the community when it came to crime.

"It's called the power of social media, empowerment of the community with select information and they will assist unfortunately it's clearly not embraced by senior stalwarts from within QPS hence the community helping the community avenue is taken in a legal fashion," he said.

Ren Smith agreed.

"Social media has unfortunately proven to have a wider reach than the police," she said.

"They reach out for missing persons through social media, so it has clearly been proven effective. Crime should be treated more seriously. Maybe if criminals realised the whole world could find out what they did, rather than just the fellow criminals down at the courthouse, they might reconsider their actions."

"It's a good tool if it helps them do their job - end of story," Annette Rawlings said.

"Interesting considering police generally request the community to provide information, which might assist in the apprehension of an offender," Halibut said.

"Here is a case where the community worked together and it resulted in an apprehension.

"Obviously, if community members took the law in their own hands and meted out justice upon the individual, then that would be inappropriate and unlawful.

"If I was a police officer investigating a matter, I would be happy for any action undertaken by the community, which results in an arrest and subsequent conviction of an offender."

What do you think? Share your view on the QT Facebook page or online at http://www.qt.com.au/.



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