SRI Security Research Institute, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia
From Occupy Wall Street to 2011 England riots to Arab Spring to Mumbai 26/11 to the ethnic cleansing rumors in India and increasingly used by pedophiles, social media is a very powerful tool for pedophiles, troublemakers, criminals and even terrorists to target individuals and even to go against the establishment. On the other hand, social media can save lives in a disaster, and its a natural extension of community policing or engagement. Community engagement is a must-have strategy for any public safety and security agency. However, this strategy requires the removal of stovepipe processes and systems within an agency, allowing better process integration and information sharing, thereby offering improved services to all stakeholders. Improved information sharing within an agency is also a stepping stone towards cross-agency information sharing. Criminal and terrorist organizations do not follow and do not commit crimes and terrorism based on how public safety and security agencies are structured. They commit crimes based on maximum returns, be they financial ideological or to instill fear. This is why information sharing or intelligence fusion is crucial across agencies especially with more illicit use of technologies and social media by the ‘bad guys’.