Republican Facebook site publishes police officers’ pictures

The BBC are reporting that a Facebook page has been set up by dissident republicans which is encouraging members to post images and details of police operations from across Northern Ireland.

Terry Spence form the Police Federation said:

“This is a very serious matter and I have been in touch with the chief constable’s office this morning.”
“I have explained our great concern and asked him to immediately close down the Facebook page and to take immediate action against those who set it up.
“Clearly this is an attempt to gather information which is likely to be of use to terrorists which I am in no doubt will be used in attempts to target police officers for murder.”

He also stated:

“It is very clearly a very serious criminal offence to gather information which is likely to be of use to terrorists.”

The News Letter is reporting that a member of the Facebook group also called for opposition to this Saturday’s RBP parade in Fermanagh.

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  • ranger1640

    I believe the site is now closed very sinister indeed!!!!

  • oracle

    Can’t remember sites like this when Nula was strutting her stuff….. what’s wrong Al

    I think they should close down the Police ombudsman office because it has the appearance of being extremely ineffectual and not quite what should be expected for a progressive society.
    There are third world dictatorships which claim to have an equally robust transparent and impartial system for investigating Police actions…..

  • This seems like big news being reported across the media and yet not one site can post a link to the Facebook page. I took a look at politics.ie and couldn’t find anyone with a link to it either. I doubt it ever existed or is just an example of the BBC misunderstanding Facebook.

    Surely dissident republicans wouldn’t be stupid enough to post information on people they’re targeted under their own names on Facebook, the whole idea of the thing sounds really unbelievable to me.

  • oracle

    I don’t know about that Daniel…

    Look at that group O N Hoax it’s like something they would be involved in …. then they’d phone the PSNI to tell them what they had done before their leader in Belfast would round up all the journalists and tell them who set the site up and where and who’s idea it was and what a brilliant organisor he was.

    They are such a strange nay Bizzare shadowy grouping that they make the MRF and FRU look clean and open

  • Neil

    not one site can post a link to the Facebook page

    It’s gone now. It was called British Crown Forces Watch or something like that but they took it down. I think the people posting the photos were mostly kids with mobiles who’d been out doing some recreational rioting, but that the dissies could obviously see the pics and potentially use the info.

  • pippakin

    I’m not sure I believe this happened, but if it did its the sort of thing that gives Ireland a bad name, not necessarily because its so dangerous but because its so stupid, and they call themselves Irish republicans do they… I suppose its too much to hope they have an IQ level at all, I mean between them, what is it minus something?

    Here’s a thought perhaps it was themmuns trying to blacken republicanism.

  • Neil

    The initial idea for the site (as discussed on Wendy Austin’s show on Radio Ulster) was for people to post evidence of PSNI harrassment. It was then hijacked by users posting photos etc.

    And I’m pretty sure Wendy said she’d seen the page (and another one which was basically a mirror site set up by Loyalists with around 4 times as many members).

  • Toastedpuffin

    Is there something in the Irish Republican psyche that makes it obligatory to suffix everything with “Watch”?

    Is introspection out of the question?

  • I can never quite make my mind up about Terry Spence and the Police Federation.
    And I think thats actually a good way to be. To be totally “supportive” or “hostile” means that I wouldnt be able to judge each statement on its own merits.
    Sometimes I see him as a highly effective advocate of his members (and indeed the publics interests). On other occasions he seems to protest just a little too much.

    In this case the Facebook site…now apparently closed…..was sinister as it implied a certain “we have our eyes on you” aspect.

    Yet I see no problem in filming or photographing Police in “operations”. After all, just about every night we can watch police officers in action in all kinds of Reality shows. The Police (PSNI included) dont seem to object when it suits them and certainly in the case of news footage etc we have seen cases of unlawful deaths etc which may not have been brought to light if there had been no cameras.
    Indeed the Police are quite content to use cameras themselves. Or to look at news footage. Rightly so.

    And a skeptic might suggestthat the average police officer caught up in a violent and scary incident does not want a camera pointing at him…just in case he is seen to swing a baton a little too freely.
    Understandable enough of course but a big difference from filming police officers and posting the results on a Facebook page.

    But we are all ambiguous about what is Public and what is Private.
    Modern TV allows the situation where the car number plates of Rupert Murdoch is “pixalated out” (is that the right phrase) and the children of an arrested person are pixalated out.
    Yet it is seemingly perfectly acceptable to walk down a street with my grandchild and if a photographer deems it “cute” it can appear without permission in a morning newspaper.
    Its not exactly consistent is it?

  • tacapall

    I dont see what the problem is posting photograghs of PSNI officers doing what they are paid to do sure dont they have their own facebook page where people can leave comments for “community officers” in west belfast. If Rodney Kings assult by police was not filmed by a bystander he might have still been in prison now for assulting and resisting arrest.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=2509504n

  • CharlieMcCarthy29

    Yet I see no problem in filming or photographing Police in “operations”.

    fitzjameshorse1745,

    I would agree if “normal: conditions applied. For example Rodney King would never have got justice were it not for the videotape.
    But N.I. is still a ways from normal. There are groups which are actively trying to murder police officers. It’s disingenuous to say that this site, now taken down, didn’t pose a risk to individuals.

  • I have specifically said that the posting of pics on Facebook was sinister.

  • CharlieMcCarthy29

    Yes, fitzjameshorse1745, it was remiss of me not to note that and I didn’t mean that you were disingenuous. That was for others.

  • carl marks

    first wellcome back turgon ,on hols? hope it was good

    this is indeed a very sinister site and its good that it has been closed, Talkback today mentioned a larger loyalist site has it been closed as well.

  • Toastedpuffin

    Made me smile:

    “Crown forces raiding houses in Derry at the minute”
    – 3 people like this

  • carl marks

    Toastedpuffin (profile) says:
    4 August 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Made me smile:

    “Crown forces raiding houses in Derry at the minute”
    – 3 people like this

    true that is funny. what a world eh

  • Rory Carr

    The cops should all grow big fuck-off bushy mustaches so that they all look alike – a uniform look if you like – which would then make them indistinguishable one from the other so that the nasty ones could not be identified apart from the nice ones.

    I realise that gingers would be at a bit of a disadvantage but, tough – that’s just the price you pay for being a ginger. Even Human Rights cannot come to a ginger’s rescue. Maybe they could disqualify gingers on the basis of their handicap much like those with colour blindness were disqualified from being a railway signalman or one-legged actors were not called back to audition for the lead role in Saturday Night Fever.

  • nightrider

    In the 70’s, if you didn’t have long(ish) hair (males under 30) you were immediately identified as a ‘Brit’, mainland uniformed variety. Black males were also assumed to be squaddies.
    Loyalists, to the trained eye, could be identified by the large wrist tatoos highlighting UVF or UDA, maybe both in a few cases. Parkas were de rigeur for a while.
    The RUC trademark moustache was as iconic as the Sterling sub machine gun.
    Did the provos have duffelcoats or was that Socialist workers?
    I’m getting old…

  • Rory Carr

    Of course the easiest way of identifying someone who might be from the other tribe, and thus a potential threat, was to check if their eyes were too close together.