The London Metro Police took a fair amount of criticism during the recent riots. So did other constabularies around England. Store and home owners who saw their property damaged or destroyed weren’t impressed by the bobbies’ rules of engagement that appeared to be limited to using the flaming buildings to make ‘smores while watching rioters and looters move to the next target of opportunity. But no more. At least not in Colchester. No more mister nice guy. Rioting, burning, looting and assault are bad enough. But break out a Super Soaker in the land of hope and glory and her majesty’s finest are gonna come down on you like a ton of flaming bricks…
Actually, the Colchesterite (Colchesterer?), he who shall not be named, never even got the chance to direct his stream at another Briton. All he managed to do before being arrested was to organize a water gun fight via Blackberry Messenger. That’s right. He was planning a squirt gun fight.
A police spokesman declined to comment on whether not police were monitoring BMM (sic) service, telling the Guardian: “Essex police use appropriate measures for whatever the crime and wherever our investigations lead us.”
The UK Government has been investigating what role tech and social media played in organizing the riots. On Friday, the UK government announced it would be holding talks with Facebook and RIM. Previously, Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament that the government is examining whether it is possible to prevent suspected criminals from sending messages via social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
After all, the UK is the birthplace of Orwell. And they already have more surveillance cameras per square foot than any other country on Earth. Might as well reinforce the reputation.
The hooligans openly communicated and chose their targets using social media sites during the riots. If only British law enforcement had displayed anything approximating this kind of vigilance while the yoots ran wild, maybe fewer buildings would have been torched and some of the people beaten to death might still be alive. Better late than never though, what?