Officers go online to catch criminals

Officers in Greater Manchester Police’s (GMP) Trafford division are using the popularity of YouTube as the latest weapon to help cut crime across the borough.

Feb 19, 2009
By Paul Jacques

Officers in Greater Manchester Police’s (GMP) Trafford division are using the popularity of YouTube as the latest weapon to help cut crime across the borough.

Footage filmed by the Trafford division’s video intelligence unit is being placed on the online video sharing website to appeal for information and raise public awareness of offenders.

Live footage of three offenders, who were all wanted on recall to prison having breached the terms of their licence, was uploaded on YouTube in December. All three have since been arrested and returned to prison.

Viewers are given the general Crimestoppers telephone number next to the clip and are urged to call and report, in confidence, any information they have that could help locate the offender. All information given is subsequently fed back to GMP officers.

Since the unit first started filming, the number of intelligence submissions on the offenders filmed has increased by around 75 per cent.

Chief Superintendent Janette McCormick of GMP’s Trafford division said: “I fully support the public circulation of images as another tactic to help identify and bring wanted offenders to justice.

“We were aware of the widespread popularity of YouTube and decided that it would be an ideal format to compliment our appeals for information.

“I think that the police and the public working together in this way sends out a clear message to offenders who breach their licence conditions that there is nowhere for them to hide and that they will be caught.”

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