We recently talked about Thefts and Social Network and how “social media addicts” share information publicly which could somehow help criminals, so unknowingly putting at risk their own security.
However there is another side to the coin: there are situations in which Facebook, WhatsApp or any Social Network which allows real-time communication can help prevent unpleasant break-ins into an apartment.
The human eye is often are as efficient as a video camera, if not more.
Maintaining a good network within a building or a neighbourhood, thanks to instant messaging technologies (WhatsApp is certainly the best known), can be useful so as never to leave the area completely “unattended” and to deter thieves from carrying out burglaries. There are numerous examples of groups of people who have mobilised themselves, following the occurrence of many break-ins in the same area, to keep an eye out and warn of suspicious movements in the neighbourhood by using social network groups.
This was the case, for example, in a small Italian town in the province of Varese, after yet another theft:
“The tenants were not at home, but when they returned they found the apartment ransacked. As so often happens, the protagonists of this misadventure expressed their anger on social network sites and in a message on Facebook they told what had happened.
Many other had suffered the same experience during recent times and not only in Azzate, so a debate started amongst the readers of the sites: how can we stem the tide of thefts?
The proposals led to a conclusion: set up a group willing to take steps to control the area. No actual patrols or “neighbourhood watch”, but a WhatsApp group which now has more than 120 members.”
This is what a local newspaper reported.
This also happened in the province of Bologna (Italy), where the local authority became involved in the “WhatsApp project”; a meeting was organised with local people in council offices to set up new groups to keep an eye on neighbourhoods by using WhatsApp.
Lastly, we must give recognition to Facebook for what it does. There are groups which have helped and continue to help in the tracing of stolen cars or bikes, or report sightings of suspects following bag-snatching or theft.
However, not all the social media sites have a silver lining, so you always have to be very careful how you use them!