Mike Cunningham, head of the College of Policing, says social media firms have failed to crack down on “violent, insidious and criminal” content and should be regulated. In supporting calls for regulation, making him the first police chief to publicly do so, he said: “It’s incumbent on those who invented this technology, who generate these things and make a lot of money from it to fulfil their social responsibility.” He added that the issue of self-regulation, “of persuading, of cajoling, of trying to influence people” has not been successful so formal intervention may be required. Mr Cunningham, a former HM Inspector of Constabulary and chief constable, also commented on knife crime, saying a short-term “surge” of extra officers in hotspots is required, along with a strategic review of police handling of serious violence in the longer term. He added that looking at future challenges “wil l require a much clearer understanding of how the digital and social media worlds play into criminality and anti-social behaviour,” suggesting forces will also need greater awareness of digital forensics, forecasting and biometrics.
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