The Metropolitan Police has begun posting on Flickr a set of photos from CCTV cameras of suspected London rioters, as it prepares a full-on bid to have the criminals identified by local people.
After days of rioting in London and the spread of violence to other UK cities including Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Nottingham and Birmingham, the police have vowed to make public the images of those responsible.
The move marks a step by the police to make better use of social networking and other technology, after the rioters initially outmanoeuvred them using Twitter and BlackBerry Messenger to co-ordinate action. The police force said Flickr will host the photos “so that the public have as many opportunities as possible to help the Met identify those who committed violent and criminal acts on London's streets”.
Following the pictures being live for one day, by 12pm on Wednesday they had been viewed nearly 300,000 times.
The initial batch of photos shows rioters caught on CCTV in Croydon and West Norwood, areas affected heavily on Monday night. More photos will be added over the coming days.
The Metropolitan Police said on its website that under Operation Withern it was aiming to “bring to justice those who have committed violent and criminal acts”.
Commander Simon Foy said: "Those who have or intend to go out and commit violent, criminal acts should be warned. We will have photographs and evidence that we will use to identify you and bring you to justice.”
Story Photo: Alan Stanton