London: In what is claimed to be the first known use of a social networking site to track down a criminal, the boyfriend of a rape victim in Britain has set up a Facebook page to try to catch her attacker.
He has posted CCTV images of the suspect on a Facebook group, “Find the Sale rapist”, and even appealed to anyone who recognises the rapist, in his 40s or 50s, to get in touch with detectives immediately.
The group, which has 5,000 members with more joining everyday, also contains details of the attack in Manchester last August. “This man needs to be caught ASAP he is a danger to the public,” the Facebook page reads.
The boyfriend of the victim has said that he decided to turn to the social networking site “after a public appeal for information from the police proved unsuccessful”.
“We just want her attacker caught and I thought starting a Facebook site which would be seen by thousands of people would increase the chances of that happening,” British tabloid the ‘Mirror’ quoted him as saying, without naming him.
He added: “I thought, who logs on to a police website on the off-chance that there might be someone wanted that they might recognise? At least, with Facebook lots of people are leaning about what happened and getting to see the footage of the man.”
The woman was raped as she walked less than a mile to her parents’ home from a pub in Manchester, late at night last August. Her boyfriend was to meet her half-way but she failed to turn up. He searched for some 45 minutes before finding her lying sobbing behind a hedge.