According to recent study released by Cardiff University, Social networking site Twitter can help police maintain peace and order better as it can detect riots faster than them. The study found out that the 140 characters social networking site is capable of identifying riots and other violent activities minutes or even in some cases almost an hour before the police are notified to reach the crime scene.

The Cardiff University study utilised algorithms to analyse 1.6 million tweets related to the infamous London riots that took place six years ago in 2011. The study found out that computer systems could have possibly detected the trouble brewing in Enfield, London an hour and 23 minutes before the police were alerted about the situation. The computer systems could have picked up the same information from Twitter.

According to Pete Burnap, co-author of the Cardiff study, the study reveals that online social media has nowadays become the go-to place to report observations of everyday occurrences -- including terrestrial criminal activity and social disorder like riots, corruption etc.

Burnap further added that even though the study points towards the emergence of social media in maintaining law and order but the new technologies is only capable of supporting the "more established policing methods," but it would never replace the traditional ones.

Taking the help of social media to fight crime isn't something new. Law enforcement agencies in some parts of the world have been making use of the online social media for quite some time now. For instance, Boston police took social media help to urge people to submit information about anything fishy that they might have seen in order to aid the investigation in the Boston Marathon bombing. In fact, a month ago, Thailand's Immigration Bureau received an anonymous tip from the Line messaging app, which led to the arrest of two Vietnamese citizens who were overstaying their visas in the country.

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