England riots: Welsh arrests on social media misuse

Police in Wales have made several arrests in connection with the misuse of social networking sites to incite crime following riots in England.

Two Cardiff men are in custody after being arrested for inciting criminality by misusing Facebook.

A 31-year-old man from Newport has been arrested, a 21-year-old man from Bangor is on bail and a 27-year old man from Ebbw Vale has received a caution.

Gwent Police urged people to use social media responsibly and not fuel rumours.

The arrests follow a series of minor incidents in Cardiff on Tuesday night, including small fires at empty buildings.

Wales has so far been spared the serious disorder seen in several of England's cities, where looting and violence has been occurring since Saturday.

Start Quote

What we have had is irresponsible use of social media which has caused unnecessary fear and anxiety in the community”

End Quote Deputy Chief Constable Jeff Farrar Gwent Police

A huge police operation and heavy rain in some areas appear to have prevented a fifth night of disorder.

On Wednesday night South Wales Police arrested two men, both aged 24 and from the Cardiff area, on suspicion of misusing social networking websites in order to incite criminality in the Cardiff area.

Malicious communication

The men are currently in custody at Cardiff Bay Police Station.

They were arrested as part of an ongoing police investigation into the small number of public order incidents in the city overnight on Tuesday.

Det Ch Insp Andy Davies said: "Both men have been arrested for inciting criminality by misusing the Facebook social networking site.

"South Wales Police is continuing to monitor social networking sites and anyone who uses them to attempt to generate disorder in our communities will be traced and dealt with."

On Wednesday night a 31-year-old man from Newport was arrested on suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting the commission of a public order offence.

'Irresponsible use'

He is being questioned in police custody.

A 27-year-old man from Ebbw Vale has been cautioned for sending a malicious communication by public communication network.

Deputy Chief Constable of Gwent Police, Jeff Farrar, said: "I have no doubt that many of the pictures and reports from across the UK within the media will provoke concern among our communities.

"I want to reassure them that, in the Gwent force area, we have not experienced major unrest as seen elsewhere but what we have had is irresponsible use of social media which has caused unnecessary fear and anxiety in the community.

"We have already made arrests and will continue to do so. We want people to know that we not only police the streets in Gwent, we police the online community as well."

A 21-year-old man from Bangor was arrested on Wednesday night for incitement to commit an indictable offence.

He has been released on bail and is due before Caernarfon Magistrates' Court on 23 August.

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