Metropolitan Police have turned to Flickr to help identify suspects involved in the riots that resulted in the arrest of 563 people who participated in the widespread looting, fires and destruction of businesses in the UK over the past three days.
New Scotland Yard has released dozens of photographs on a Flickr webpage dedicated to nabbing the thugs responsible for the chaos in Britain. Video captured by CCTV in various areas of London as the violence ensued can also be viewed online by concerned citizens willing to come forward to assist in the investigation.
Police officials from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, specialist investigators from the Public Order Branch, as well as police support staff are reviewing thousands of hours worth of video to pinpoint the opportunists who capitalized on the UK rioting to steal thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from local stores left unguarded when the melee began.
Metropolitian Police Commander Simon Foy said in a message posted on Twitter: “We will be relentless in pursuit of those who have broken the law.”
The police effort to utilize the Internet, Flickr and social media networks to the nab the culprits responsible for some of the violence and a significant amount of looting has been named 'Operation Withern' by the Met police. "Operation Withern's priority is to bring to justice those who have committed violent and criminal acts," according to the information posted on Flickr.
In a public statement released by Metropolitan Police, Commander Foy said:
"The investigative team is working hard to identify suspects.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.Today we are releasing the first of many, many images of people we will be speaking to in connection with the scenes of violence. We will not tolerate the violence that has been seen in parts of London."
Metropolitan Police Department
Photographs of suspects wanted for questioning in the recent riots that hit the London and surrounding areas.
Rioters who reportedly used social media to encourage violence in areas where police presence was limited, have now been joined by over 80,000 volunteers from Tottenham, Croydon, Clapham, Birmingham and London, using the Twitter handle @RiotCleanup, who are coordinating the effort to remove the garbage and debris from the streets and shore up the damage left in the wake of the riots.
Police report of the 563 arrested in the three-day of unprecedented violence, 110 have been charged and at least 48 officers have been injured, some seriously and requiring surgery, by bricks, bottles and wood turned into missile's that were launched at police responding to the unrest
The Metropolitan Police is asking that anyone with any information as to the identities of individuals seen in the photographs should contact the Major Investigation Team at 020 8345 4142. Anonymous reports can be made to CrimeStoppers at 0800 555 111.