The London riots in 2011 continued for a third day on Tuesday, but officials are already catching up with some of the rioters, thanks to Flickr and other social media.
The Metropolitan Police were quick to create an official Flickr album named "London Disorder - Operation Withern," posting more than a dozen images of people breaking into stores, bending fences and even running away.
"Operation Withern's priority is to bring to justice those who have committed violent and criminal acts. As the detailed and thorough investigation progresses we will be issuing photographs of suspects, like those of alleged looters we are releasing today . . . these CCTV images are from incidents of looting in Croydon over last night and Norwood Road SE27 in the early hours of this morning," read a statement on the Flickr site.
Commander Simon Foy assured citizens of their safety in an official statement posted on the Met. Police Web site.
"Today we are releasing the first of many, many images of people we will be speaking to in connection with the scenes of violence. We will not tolerate the violence that has been seen in parts of London," he said.
On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police announced that more than 16,000 police officers will be deployed over the next 24 hours. This number is a significant increase from the nearly 6,000 officers that have been on the streets since the riots began on Saturday in the neighborhood of Tottenham.
More than 100 officers have been reported injured, with many that have required treatment for fractured bones, head injuries, concussions and eye injuries. Five police dogs have also been injured, according to officials.
The use of Flickr and other social media outlets during the London riots come just two months after a similar effort in Vancouver, Canada.
Following the Vancouver Canucks' loss in the Stanley Cup Finals on June 15, thousands of people took to the streets of downtown Vancouver, setting cars on fire, damaging store fronts and looting. More than 100 people were injured, including nine police officers.
But within hours of the loss, locals created sites like "Vancouver 2011 Riot Criminal List" to post images of rioters identified on television, speeding up the process of arrests and investigations.
In London, a similar Tumblr page, "Catch A Looter" has been created, but with fair warning.
"It should be clear that . . . wearing a balaclava and carrying a bag of stuff isn't illegal, nor is it evidence of looting. Just to be clear," the creator wrote on the main page.
Anyone with information about individuals in the photographs currently posted on the Metropolitan Police Flickr Web site is encouraged to contact the Major Investigation Team at 020 8345 4142 (anonymous tippers can call 0800 555 111).