Police highlight Facebook as e-crime is targeted

Scotland’s most senior frontline police officers have declared war on e-crime and are warning that social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo are among the biggest threats to our communities because of online grooming and paedophilia.

The Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (Asps) will demand at their annual conference later this week that internet providers and search engines such as Google start regulating themselves to curb growing levels of online crime.

Speaking in advance of the Dunblane conference, Chief Super-intendent David O’Connor, the incoming president of the association, said there was growing concern about increases in e-crime and the lack of regulation by companies online.

His speech will also outline concerns about the fact the police service is over capacity in the management of sex offenders.

Hundreds of millions of pounds are estimated to be lost in Scotland each year as a result of internet scams. O’Connor will say the Scottish Government, internet providers and senior officers need to come together to discuss e-crime and a better way of paying for its policing.

Facebook has been at the centre of a number of court cases involving adults grooming young people. The most high-profile in the UK was that of Ashleigh Hall, 17, who was murdered by convicted rapist Peter Chapman, 33, in Sedgefield, County Durham. She had agreed to meet him after he posed as a young man on the popular site.

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