Social media used to report crime instead of going to the police
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRSP) —
As the popularity of social media increases, some are beginning to use it as a way to report crime.
However, not all who report it online are reporting it to the police as well.
"There's nothing worse then when people say you know, 'my house got broken into a week ago and it's like, did you call the police? They're like no'," Springfield Police Sargent Chris Rhodes said.
While reporting crime on social media is not normally a combination people would put together, it is becoming more popular to report many pieces of information online.
"It has become more common, just as social media becomes more prevalent in our society, you know it's a way for a lot of people to communicate," Rhodes said.
"Especially vandalism and stuff, a lot people will say 'oh this happened to me' but they don't go to the cops about it," Student Shelby Hildebrand said.
However, if a post about crime goes up online and is not reported to police, it can make it harder to solve the crime.
"I could definitely see that being problematic, I think that you know with burglaries and that, you should report it to the police," Graduate Student Maximilian Kwiatkowski said.
While police said it is alright to post about the crime happening. They ask for victims of the crime to report it to them first so they can be sure to assist with the problem.
"You know, what we would ask is the first time, you know call the police, have us investigate it and then by all means afterwards if you want to share it with your family, friends, the Facebook nation then you can go ahead and put it on Facebook," Rhodes said.
This is all an effort to avoid a social media scare they may not have too much information or otherwise.
"What we would ask is not to post stuff on Facebook before it's validated and the police have come out to investigate it," Rhodes said.
It is encouraged to report the crime as soon as possible because waiting too long can lead to compromising evidence about it.