News Social media playing its role in combating thefts in Prince George SHARE ON: Ethan Ready, staff Thursday, Aug. 15th, 2019 A set of hands in handcuffs. (courtesy of Pixabay) As the Prince George RCMP combat the on-going issue of thefts going on throughout the Northern Capital, social media is playing its part. While the trolls and warriors of the internet are too busy wreaking havoc, Facebook pages like Stolen PG have been proving their worth. Citizens have been utilizing the page as a way to post about items they’ve had stolen, as well as items that may be suspected of being taken from their rightful owner. In an interview with MyPGNow, Tracy Arrowsmith, a moderator of the page, said it’s rewarding when the page does pull through in tracking down items with the help of the page’s 7,831 members. “We do see a lot of people complaining about the police and wanting to take matters into their own hands,” said Arrowsmith. “When posts that people put on there with photos and descriptions actually help lead to finding items, it makes us understand that the page is actually doing some good. Because of this page, we’ve been successful in tracking down many bicycles and vehicles, I believe the Stolen page was also helpful in tracking down the tiny house a few weeks back. It’s nice to see that what we’re doing is actually helping people.” Prince George RCMP has even admitted that social media is a big tool used in modern-day policing. However, as frustration rises throughout the community as thefts appear to be occurring at a more consistent rate, Arrowsmith says issues on the page itself have been taking place, leading to the moderators to take necessary action and enforcing their rules. Considering recent events regarding another community page for Prince George on the social networking site, which resulted in Facebook removing the page entirely, Arrowsmith said it’s important that they work to stay true to their own policies for the page. “Recently, we’ve had a lot of people threaten violence on the page, as well as a lot of racism. What we’ve done is put out announcements that appear on the top of the page,” she said. “I give people a chance to change their comments, should they not change them then I remove them. If people continue to make inappropriate posts then they eventually get removed from the group. Just to make sure that they’re in line with the intentions of the page, we understand that people are very frustrated with the increase in crime, but we also want people to know that people taking matters into their own hands is unacceptable and we do not condone violence on the page.” While she does acknowledge the success in the page’s ability to help in people finding stolen items, she does still urge people to contact the RCMP whenever an incident of theft is suspected. She also suggested that any residents who may not already be a part of the Stolen PG page on Facebook to join and keep an eye out in their neighbourhood for things. “Keep in mind we’re out there to help each other and that’s the intention of our page,” said Arrowsmith.