Social Media Crimes Up In The North East

5 June 2015, 06:00 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

The number of crimes being committed where Facebook or Twitter was a key factor has increased in the last three years.

Despite the rise in the number of crimes, many police forces pointed out that their figures did not always mean social media was used as a "tool'' to commit an offence.

For example, a person might have been viewing Facebook when their mobile phone was stolen or initial contact between an attacker and a victim may have been on social media.

In the North East, the biggest rise was seen by Northumbria Police in incidents involving Facebook.

They went up from 56 in 2012 to 166 last year - an increase of 110.

Elsewhere, North Yorkshire Police saw a rise of 93 in the 3 years and Durham's figures went from 85 in 2012 to 152 last year - up by 67.

North East Police Force Figures

:: Cleveland Police said 125 crime reports mentioned Facebook in 2014, up from 63 in 2013 and 62 in 2012. The figures for Twitter rose from zero in 2012, to two in 2013 and eight in 2014.

:: Durham Constabulary said 152 reported crimes mentioned Facebook last year, up from 93 in 2013 and 85 in 2012. Four complaints involving Twitter were recorded in 2014, up from three in 2013 and three in 2012.

:: North Yorkshire Police said complaints mentioning Facebook or Twitter rose from 73 in 2012 to 131 in 2013 and 166 in 2014.

:: Northumbria Police said 166 reported crimes mentioning Facebook were recorded in 2014, up from 91 in 2013 and 56 in 2012. Three crime reports mentioned Twitter in 2014, compared with six in 2013 and four in 2012.