Police Are Using Twitter To Find (And Punish) Illegally Parked Cars

Police Are Using Twitter To Find (And Punish) Illegally Parked Cars

Police in Rome have had a tough time combatting the “creative” solutions its citizens have typically used to squeeze their cars and other vehicles into the narrow city streets. But now they’ve got a special new parking unit… Twitter.

As Business Insider reports, Roman police have set up the dedicated @PLRomaCapitale Twitter account to enlist the public in spotting parking violations.

The public is encouraged to tweet the location of an illegally parked car to the account. And often – within hours of this tweet – the police will use the account to notify the public when the car has been dealt with.

Apparently, one user tweeted to the police about a particularly bad street, and just seven hours later the police tweeted in return that they had handed out a total of 25 individual fines.

The move is designed to combat the “culture of rule-breaking” in the city, using social media to encourage the public to police itself for more chaos-free streets.

This isn’t the first time law enforcement has leveraged Twitter. As far back as 2010, Vancouver police took to the 140 character network to post emergency calls for 24 hours to highlight a day in the life of a police department. In a more controversial move, UK police used Twitter to name and shame arrested London looters in 2011, tweeting their full names, birth dates, partial addresses, crimes and jail time. And police departments from Chennai to Boston have used Twitter to fight crime.

(Parking ticket image via Shutterstock)