Sunday Comment: Stanford’s Facebook vigilantes
Date posted: 12-08-2012
THE STANFORD-LE-HOPE resident was walking down the street when (according to his version) he was approached by a young man who offered him an X-box.
The resident, mindful of recent burglaries in the area, took a photograph of the young man. He went home and contacted Essex Police. But at the same time, he posted the photo on Facebook page called “Stanford-le-Hope”.
The photo has attracted a lot of comment with people claiming they know him.
In many ways the page has become a form of cyber Neighbourhood Watch. Residents have been able to see the photos and share them.
This has not been the only case in Stanford. The mugging of an elderly lady in Stanford-le-Hope, noisy parties in Wharf Road and many reports of crimes.
People have expressed their frustration at police response times.
The danger is that people may not be aware as to whether they are committing offences or not.
Most members of the public are not au fait with the Contempt of Court Act 1981 or the provisions of Attempting to Pervert the Course of Justice or indeed a number of public order acts.
One thread discusses commuters parking in roads near to Stanford-le-Hope station. Some people point out that if a car is taxed and licensed and is parked on a road without restrictions then there is nothing you can do.
A Facebook person states: “Let their tyres down, do it a few times they won’t be back.”
If that youth has been charged then the photo needs to come down. If the people who are alleged to have mugged the lady in Burgess Avenue have been arrested then surely the comments regarding their possible ethnicity need to be removed etc.
It is a headache for the police. This month they have been dragged away on Olympic duty and so it must be a challenge to police certain areas as best they can.
There may well end up being a test case. Then we will see who gets tagged….