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British police busy with petty Facebook fights

Posted on Oct 28, 10:06PM | IANS

Policemen in Britain are being required to handle petty squabbles on Facebook, Twitter and other social network sites on daily basis when they could be tackling more serious crimes, the Daily Mail reported.

According to officers, they are wasting valuable time and resources tackling internet users directing abuse at each other.

In most of the case, police have to tell victims to delete their tormentors from their networks, but the Crown Prosecution Service says a "few dozen" more serious incidents have led to court, with the figure growing rapidly in recent months.

According to new statistics, obtained by the Mail Sunday, at least three arrests are being made every day for sending offensive messages via phones and computers, including people harassing ex-partners by text message and making hoax threats as well as comments on social media.

An officer from Essex, who requested anonymity, told how one man repeatedly called to claim that his ex-girlfriend was setting up fake accounts pretending to be him on Facebook, which has 900 million members worldwide.

But when officers told him to simply stop using Facebook, the man replied: "But then I can't see what they are saying about me."

In another case, a young woman approached police in Dorset complaining that she had received death threats on Facebook.

On investigation, it was found she had actually threatened to spread malicious rumours about another woman, who had replied: "I hope you die then."