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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

More on the dangers of social networking

This morning's Daily Telegraph highlights the problems that the Police are having dealing with demonstrations in the face of a modern communications revolution. It is not just Eastern Europe and the Middle East where Twitter and the internet is driving protests.

The paper quotes the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, who argue that a new generation of demonstrators who can organise and change plans instantly using modern technology mean officers can be quickly outmanoeuvred:

Large numbers of protesters could be organised in hours, changing their focus in minutes through the use of Twitter and mobile phones in a "faster moving and more unpredictable" situation.

There is also a "willingness to disrupt the public and test police" while iconic buildings could be increasingly targeted, the review in to police tactics found.

As a result increasing numbers of officers will be needed to deal with some protests in the future, it said.

But officer training to deal with the changing trend lags behind while two in five forces are unprepared to help police major protests.

The report, Policing Public Order, found 40 per cent of forces had not tested their plans to mobilise public order resources to help neighbouring forces and some forces may not even have sufficient numbers of trained officers to meet a request for help.

Meanwhile the perennial 'candidate caught out by unwise posting on Facebook/Twitter' has reared its ugly head again, this time in the Western Mail. They say that two Tory National Assembly candidates are under investigation for making tasteless and sexist jokes on Facebook.

Joel James, who is the only Tory member of Rhondda Cynon Taf council, was caught posting juvenile and sexist comments on Facebook, including a reference to French pornography.

Meanwhile postings last July by his friend Dan Saxton, who is the Tory candidate for Cynon Valley, contained a tasteless joke involving a little girl on Facebook. Last month he also posted a sexist joke about how to get a “bird into bed”.

A Welsh Conservative Party spokesman commented that: “Both Daniel Saxton and Joel James have apologised unreservedly to senior members of the Welsh Conservative Party for their comments, which they now recognise are wholly unacceptable. The comments have now been removed from their Facebook profiles.

“Their conduct has been referred to the Welsh Conservative Party’s standing committee on candidates for further investigation.”

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