Rise in anti-social media style crimes

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Latest news.

Threats to murder, sexual grooming, fraud and harassment are just some of the 957 alleged crimes committed on social media sites in Lancashire.

Despite being unheard of a decade ago, figures show that between 2010 and 2013 more than 900 crimes involving social media sites were reported to police in Lancashire.

In one case, friends Karl Manley, 28, from Heysham, and Stefan Johnson, 22, from Lancaster, were cleared of encouraging looting. The pair wrote “PC World Lancaster, 7.30pm. Let the looting begin. Could do with a new laptop!!!!” after watching widespread disorder in 
London on television.

And in a another trial, Warren Calvert, 19, of Heysham, was cleared of similar offences when he issued an invitation on Facebook to start a riot last August.

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “It’s no secret that the growth of cybercrime, in all forms, is having a significant impact on the police service. Overall crime in Lancashire is continuing to fall, and it is concerning we are seeing an increase in cybercrime involving Twitter and Facebook.

“At a time when Lancashire Constabulary has fewer resources and less money, this is an area which is placing considerable additional demand on the force.”