A hyperlocal news website in Wales has helped police snare a suspected rapist by encouraging readers to repost the suspect’s details on Facebook.
Following an alleged Saturday night rape in Welshpool, police put out a midweek appeal for information and also gave details of a suspect they wanted to speak to.
www.mywelshpool.co.uk immediately posted the appeal as a lead story and sent a bulletin to its 2,100 Facebook members with an appeal to repost the suspect’s details as their statuses.
Scores of readers took up the appeal as Facebook walls in the Welshpool area were plastered with details of the man police were looking for. Since then, police say three men have been arrested and they are not looking for anyone else.
Site co-founder David Williams said the success of the site’s involvement in assisting in the police search under-lined the growing role this type of news delivery is playing.
Said David: “It highlights the excellent service that local news web sites like ours can provide to the community.
“We can send out immediate bulletins on accidents, road closures, weather problems and of course crime appeals.
“The role of the local news service is changing as people turn to the internet in growing numbers and our latest figures from the past month again show incredible growth and loyalty from the local population.”
Mywelshpool.co.uk turned one last month and attracts a daily audience of an average 1,200 individual users.