Police warn social network users over riots

NETWORK WARNING ... Dave Pryer issued a stark message to Facebook and Twitter users.
NETWORK WARNING ... Dave Pryer issued a stark message to Facebook and Twitter users.

PEOPLE using social networking sites to urge others to take part in riots are being warned by police: “We’ll track you down!”

Northumbria Police issued the stark message after the arrest of a woman from Hebburn on Thursday.

The 21-year-old was arrested on suspicion of inciting others to commit disorder, after comments were found on Facebook.

She was later released on police bail,

Since riots began in London on Saturday, police across the country have been monitoring social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter.

The sites were being used to encourage copycat riots throughout UK’s cities.

Northumbria’s Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Dave Pryer said: “To the small minority intent on generating disorder using social media – we will track you down, and you will face criminal prosecution.”

To date, more than 1,600 people have been arrested after riots broke out in London and later in Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham and Liverpool.

Five people have died, while the mayhem has left thousands of businesses destroyed.

Mr Pryer added: “We are aware of the significant role social networking sites have been playing in the events that have been happening elsewhere in the country.

“We are pro-actively monitoring all sites, and if you are publishing messages generating violence or disorder, you can expect a visit from the police.

“It is encouraging to see that most of this sort of material is being challenged by other people, who have pride and respect for their communities. We would ask parents to make sure they know what their children are doing online, and for anyone who has any concerns about material being posted online to contact police.”

The arrest of the Hebburn woman came on the same day five more suspects were arrested after an attack on a police station in Washington.

A gang hurled a missile through a window, injuring a police officer, and a police car was set on fire.

The first wave of riots in Tottenham followed the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan by police on August 4.

An investigation into his death is being carried out by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Anyone with any information on planned disorder is asked to contact police on 03456 043 043.