Twitter: The New Age Crime Fighter

Chief Francis Kariuki reads a tweet on his mobile phone at his office in the village of Lanet Umoja, near Nakuru, in the Rift Valley of Kenya.

It’s amazing how social media has virtually hazed the concept of distance to near extinction and it doesn’t matter whether you live in an affluent part of the world or are a resident of poverty stricken Kenya – social media reigns nevertheless!

In a latest happening in Kenya, when the administrative chief of a village received an urgent at 4 a.m. saying that thieves were invading a school teacher’s home, he made use of Twitter – yes, Twitter – to mobilize the locals to reach to the site of crime before police did. Within moments of the Chief’s tweet, scores of villagers gathered outside the home propelling the thugs to make a run for it.

This isn’t the first time Francis Kariuki made use of Twitter to improve law enforcement in his area. Earlier he had tweeted about a ‘white sheep of a local resident that had gone missing’ and surely enough the sheep was recovered within hours. Kariuki regularly invests faith in the power of social media by tweeting about missing children and farm animals, amply manifesting that the micro-blogging website has successfully made its way into the most impoverished villages of Africa.

Kariuki believes that even the thieves in his village follow him on Twitter. Earlier this year, he had sent out a tweet detailin the theft of a cow, and later the cow was found abandoned, tied to a pole.

This is not just an isolated example as Beatrice Karanja, the head of Portland Nairobi, has noted that the findings exhibit the ushering in of a new age in responding to crimes and issues of alw enforcement in his country. He feel that social media websites such as Twitter also provide an excellent opportunity for governments that want to communicate with their people more openly.

Article publié pour la première fois le 16/02/2012

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