Social networkers have been urged to stop logging crimes on Facebook after a surge of people did so over the weekend.
Northamptonshire Police’s Facebook page, which has almost 19,000 ‘likes’, has even been used by one mum to report her son missing – before dialling the appropriate emergency number to inform police.
She said: ‘My child has run off after an argument, he is 13 years old . . . he has no phone or money on him . . . Please contact me if anyone sees him please, I am just about to report him missing.’
The site, which is updated by the force’s communications team, is not monitored 24/7 and they say using it in this way is not how it is intended.
The Force does not close the page outside of working hours so it can go unmonitored over weekends.
Northants Police wrote on the page on Monday: ‘Morning all, we’ve had lots of people reporting crimes over the weekend on Facebook – unfortunately we are unable to monitor the page 24/7 so if you have an issue please call us on 101 or in an emergency (crime in action, fear for safety for example) then always dial 999.’
Earlier in the month the Force had to take action against users posting ‘inappropriate’ comments on its Facebook page which caused a backlash from ‘friends’ who did not think the police ‘had the right’ to remove their posts.