After two days of rioting in London in which youths reportedly used BBM, the instant-messaging service for BlackBerry devices, to help organise their attacks, Blackberry maker RIM has confirmed it is working with the authorities.
Patrick Spence, the company's managing director of its global sales and regional marketing, said in a statement: "We feel for those impacted by this weekend's riots in London. We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can.
"As in all markets around the world where BlackBerry is available, we co-operate with local telecommunications operators, law enforcement and regulatory officials. Similar to other technology providers in the UK we comply with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and co-operate fully with the Home Office and UK police forces."
A shorter version of RIM's statement was also tweeted from the @UK_BlackBerry Twitter account.
Commander Steve Kavanagh, deputy assistant commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, told Radio 4's Today programme this morning: "Social media and other methods have been used to organise these levels of greed and criminality and we need to adapt and learn from what we are experiencing."
Kit Malthouse, deputy mayor of London for policing and chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, also told the programme: "The new phenomena in policing, from an intelligence point of view, is social media and the Met albeit two or three years ago might have been a bit slow to catch on, they are now all over it."
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