Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Rising Number of Social Media Incidents in Northern Ireland - 73 in 2010, 1,541 in 2011, 2,887 in 2012

Read my analysis on eamonnmallie.com here. See the original document acquired under the Freedom of Information Act in full here. I acquired the information from the Chief Constable via the Justice Committee on February 19 2013.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Rising Number of Social Media Prosecutions in Northern Ireland - 152 in 2010, 142 in 2011 and 213 in 2012

Above is a screen grab of the excel document which gives a breakdown of the total number of social media prosecutions brought in Northern Ireland, in the year 2010, 2011 and 2012. You can see the full document here. This was accessed through the Freedom of Information Act.

The FOI document was acquired on February 15 2013.

Also, below is a breakdown of some of the specific offences and the specific law used to prosecute.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Matt Bagott explains his position on Social Media

Following correspondence with a Member of the Stormont Assembly, I acquired on February 11 a communications document from Chief Constable Matt Bagott which outlined the position of the PSNI in relation to the online world of social media.
"It is worthy of note that the Right to Freedom of Expression (Article 10 ECHR) is enshrined in UK law by virtue of The Human Rights Act 1998. Whilst this is not an absolute right the threshold to be reached for a prosecution is a high one. 
In recognition of the complexity of Social Media-based criminality, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for England and Wales, Keir Starmer, QC has issued interim guidance via the CPS. This guidance forms part of an ongoing consultation process on the future approach to tackling Social Media-based criminality
The DPP is recognised as a leading authority in Human Rights Law and was previously a Human Rights Advisor to the Policing Board
Within Northern Ireland the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has not yet adopted formal guidance of their own, however they are content for the PSNI to work to that issued by the DPP
Social Media related incidents/crimes are relatively new so there is presently an inconsistent approach to the recording of same on police systems. Whilst a number of cases have been referred to the PPS none have reached the threshold for prosecution. We will of course continue to work closely with the PPS in respect of such matters and refer individual cases as and when all investigative strands are complete. 
Moving forward, and to return to the specific points within your question, discussions have taken place around identifying steps to enable some method to enable us to easily identify social media offences so to allow for details to be more easily captured/interrogated. However, at this stage work in this area has yet to commence."
Read the communication with Matt Bagott in full here.