Police officials in the Ballarat region of Australia are encouraging citizens to report all low-level Facebook crimes via the website instead of flooding their offices with phone calls.
Law enforcement officials in the area have already sent out fliers alerting residents to the latest procedures involving the social networking site. The announcements are directing Facebook users to contact the site’s abuse department, firstname.lastname@example.org, instead of calling area police personnel. The more serious abuse issues should still be reported to police, users are being cautioned.
According to local law enforcement Sargeant Craig Pearse, who actually created the fliers, Facebook episodes of mere slander and teasing are not matters that local police should involve themselves with.
He explained to the Australian paper The Courier:
But in cases where someone is engaging in conduct causing intimidation to another person, then that’s definitely something that should be reported to the police. If people are not sure if the complaint is a criminal matter or not, then contact police and we’ll advise. People should not be afraid or intimidated to call police.
If folks are experiencing problematic situations with Facebook connections, Sgt. Pearse suggests that a user simply unfriend the annoyer.
He also states that no one should have an exorbitant number of friends “if you don’t like them.”
Those who are involved in tense situations with Facebook friends are urged to contact the abuse department of the networking site, which Sgt. Pearse says will have a response for a complainant within three weeks.
Readers, do you think more police departments should follow the example set by officials in the Ballarat region of Australia?