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Hundreds charged over social media crime

Complaints of crimes involving Facebook and Twitter have increased 780% in four years, resulting in around 650 people being charged last year, police figures show.

The phenomenon of social networking crime was comparatively minor in 2008 with 556 reports made to police, according to the statistics released by 29 police forces in England, Scotland and Wales under the Freedom of Information Act.

A total of 653 people faced criminal charges over social media allegations this year.
A total of 653 people faced criminal charges over social media allegations this year. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

But this year 4,908 offences in which the two sites were a factor were reported.

Police forces were asked to provide the number of crime reports in which either Facebook or Twitter was a key factor. This included offences committed on the sites, such as posting abusive messages, and those which were provoked by postings, including violent attacks.

A total of 653 people faced criminal charges over the allegations this year, according to the forces which responded.

Great Manchester Police charged the highest number of people, at 115.

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