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Posts Tagged ‘social media and investigations’

How Law Enforcement Is Using Social Media to Solve Crimes

Posted by Writing PIs on October 24, 2012

Social media is about more than connecting with pals and learning tid-bits about other organizations and people–it’s also a tool for private investigators and law enforcement to investigate and solve crimes.  Today we’ll look at some recent stats on law enforcement and how they’re using social media.

New York PD Lays Out Rules for Cops Using Social Media

Recently, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly issued a five-page memo outlining guidelines for the NYPD’s rules for using social media in their investigations.  For example, offices involved in cases that involve social media may register their social media aliases with the department, than use a department-issued laptop (whose IP cannot be traced) for their social media interactions.

Below are several articles about Raymond Kelly’s social media measures:

Ray Kelly and NYPD: How the NYPD Has Opened the Floodgates for Social Media Spying

NYPD says cops can use social media aliases to investigate

NYPD to boost gang unit over social media violence

Whatever You Say or Show on Social Media Is Public

Some people seem to think that just because they’re on a private account where they monitor who has access means they can post whatever they want.  Think again.  What if one of those people who’s been granted access goes to the police, or the police go to him/her, and that person provides their login/password to the police to review someone else’s posts/pictures/etc.? That’s exactly what happened Melvin Colon, a suspected New York gang member who who not only posted Facebook photos of himself flashing gang signs, but he also made references to past violent crimes.  One of his pals gave police access to Colon’s “private” information, and this past August a federal judge ruled Colon lost all claims to privacy when he shared these photos and stories with his friends.

80 Percent of Law Enforcement Personnel Use Social Media in Their Investigations

Based on data from and, Background Check created this inforgraphic that shows such information as which social media networks law enforcement accesses most often, for what reasons law enforcement uses social media (#1: identifying people and locations), the percentage of government agencies using social media in their investigations (the top user: 81% of federal agencies), and more.

To read the infographic, courtesy of, click here

Private Investigators Use Social Media, Too

Here at Gums, Gams, and Gumshoes, we’ve posted several articles about the use of social media, including some social media resources:

Tracking People: Google, Social Media and Surveillance

Free Online Resources for Backgrounds, Phone Numbers, Professional Licensure and and Real-Time Social Media

Hot Research Sites, Tips from a Lawyer and Support for a Fellow PI

Have a great week, Writing PIs

Related articles

NYPD is monitoring Facebook to fight gang bloodshed (

Criminal Investigation Stats – Increasing Amounts of Officers are Solving Crimes with Social Media ( (

Law Enforcement Takes Social Media Seriously (

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