Facebook Police Finds Warm Welcome

laine uudised-laine
11. Jun 2011


Veebikonstaabel Andero shows off his blue police uniform on his profile picture, and boasts an impressive 3980 friends on Facebook. He is, however, more than just a cop with a desk job and too much free time on his hands – he is Estonia's first Web Constable, who registers up to 30 complaints daily through Facebook messages, e-mails and instant messaging systems.

Andero Sepp is a 23-year-old police officer, who monitors Estonia's largest social media sites, including Facebook and Rate.ee, a local social networking site. The Estonian Police hopes that social media will provide a way for reporting potential felonies and crimes to the police without the pressure and social stigma of actually going to a police station to file a report. Andero's work is geared mostly towards teenagrs and young adults who are more used to communicating their problems online. 

The Web Constable project has already met with significant success, Andero receives about 30 complaints per day, 10 of which are substantial enough to warrant starting criminal proceedings.

The constable has so far received several reports regarding minors, with the most severe cases concerning child pornography and sexual exploitation of adolescents. Other reports have included numerous instances of online fraud.

The constable's Facebook wall is constantly bombarded with questions ranging from inquiries about renewing a driver's licence to questions about whether one should interfere if a store clerk is about to sell alcohol to a minor.