Tap social media to crush gang culture: NYPD to Scotland Yard

“These gangs used to communicate with each other, threaten each other and send signals through graffiti, but are not doing that any more; it’s all online. Gangs talk about what they do on social media to an extraordinary degree,” Kennedy said.

Scotland Yard must tap social media sites more effectively to dismantle and quash gang culture in London by tracking the electronic footprints left by the goons, according to New York police officers.

Evidence on the territories and memberships of gangs, and crimes committed by them, has never been easier to find online, US police said, adding that tracking the electronic footprints of criminals had led them to crush entire gang structures in Manhattan.

Assistant commissioner Kevin O’Connor of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) said use of social media had evolved from Myspace through Twitter and Facebook to Instagram.

He said: “It’s getting easier and easier, not harder and harder [to obtain evidence]. All they’ve done is change venues from Facebook to Instagram. For instance, they post a picture standing in front of a rival’s territory saying: ‘Where you at?'”


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