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PSNI uses Facebook to solve bike crime

Police in north Down turned to a social networking site to track down a stolen bike.

Although it is not the first time the PSNI have used Facebook, it is the first successful outcome to an appeal.

Facebook has faced severe criticism this week for refusing to install a paedophile ‘panic button’ on its site after the murder of schoolgirl Ashleigh Hall by a man she met on the popular website.

But the PSNI has proved it can also be used for successful crime-fighting.

After a bike was reported stolen by a pupil at Redburn Primary School on Friday police set up a notice on the PSNI Holywood Facebook page.

The page had already attracted over 130 fans, and it wasn't long before someone pointed the investigating team in the right direction. The bicycle was recovered on Monday.

Inspector Bobby Singleton said: “To recover the bike was extremely rewarding. As a progressive policing service, it is important to exhaust all available methods to help solve crime.

“The PSNI Holywood Facebook page has become popular very quickly, making it an extremely worthwhile resource within the local community. It highlights the effectiveness of good Neighbourhood Policing and positive interaction between the public and police. The public response was very pleasing and shows the great community spirit that has help make Holywood the safest place to live in Northern Ireland.”

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