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Metropolitan Police takes to Flickr to catch London riot suspects

09 Aug 2011
London riots - copyright Press Association

The Metropolitan Police has launched a page on Flickr to help members of the public identify suspected looters, as the fight back against the violence and rioting affecting London over the past three days begins.

The force said in a statement on its web site on Tuesday that it had issued the "first of many images of suspects" from CCTV cameras. At the time of writing the images covered Croydon and West Norwood in south London.

"Those who have or intend to go out and commit violent criminal acts should be warned. We will have photographs and evidence that we will use to identify you and bring you to justice," said Commander Simon Foy.

"Today we are releasing the first of many, many images of people we will be speaking to in connection with the scenes of violence. We will not tolerate the violence that has been seen in parts of London."

The Met added that its Major Investigation Team will be going through thousands of hours of CCTV footage to apprehend more suspects.

The news may come as a surprise to some, given that the force was criticised for being slow to engage with social media, choosing to blame sites like Twitter for the riots rather than use them to monitor crime patterns.

In the aftermath of the third night of rioting, citizens have taken to Twitter and Facebook to show their support for the police and even to organise clean-up operations.

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Phil Muncaster

Phil Muncaster is news editor at, a role he has fulfilled since January 2010. Previously he was chief reporter for IT Week, having also worked as a reporter and senior reporter on the publication from 2005.

Before IT Week, Phil worked as a researcher for the Rough Guide. Prior to his work in journalism, Phil spent three years teaching English in Japan.



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