Police Use Facebook To Catch Criminals

Criminals can now be reported to the police on Facebook under a new scheme launched today.

Lothian and Borders Police`s 'Made From Crime' initiative will allow internet users to report their concerns online, anonymously if they wish, using the popular social networking site or via Bluetooth to link directly to the Crimestoppers website.

'Made From Crime' is the first Proceeds of Crime Act scheme of its kind in Scotland, and has the backing of both the Scottish Government and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

It is designed to make full use of the Act, which allows officers to seize assets that have been purchased through criminal activity.

Assistant Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said, "We know there are people living beyond their means on the proceeds of crime, be it through the purchase of flash cars, designer clothes or expensive jewellery, and that communities are suffering from the side effects of drug dealing, violence and other associated crimes.

I personally appeal to local communities who have any information to come forward immediately, either to Crimestoppers or to Lothian and Borders Police.

Similarly, I would assure people who are trapped by those threatening them with violence or retribution, either associates or partners, that we will help them and tackle the violence and criminality they face.

We will act on intelligence and bring offenders to justice.''

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said, "Lothian and Borders Police, like Scotland's other police forces, is taking the problem of dirty money obtained through criminal activity very seriously.

Those who make a comfortable or cushy living from activities such as drug dealing are not only deceitful to hard working and honest members of the public, but are involved in despicable acts that cause great harm to our communities. They should simply not be able to evade the law.

More than #41 million has already been seized from crooks such as these through the Proceeds of Crime Act and through the Scottish Government's Cashback initiative. We are seeing it reinvested in fantastic new community projects in Edinburgh, the Lothians and across Scotland.''

Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC said: ``We have vast powers available to us through the proceeds of crime legislation and I am delighted that this new initiative will allow people to use social media to report anonymously those who they see flaunting ill-gotten gains before them.''