Oakland Police Department cut short a pilot program that asked the public to report car break-ins on social media platforms like Instagram and X (formerly Twitter). It lasted less than a day.
OPD had set up accounts called @OaklandAutoBurg on Instagram and X, so people could send direct messages reporting burglaries in real-time, an alternative method to reporting such crimes, as ABC7 reported. "DM the details of individuals, & vehicles, and the crime's location. DON'T attempt to stop the crime!" OPD reportedly said.
The social media pages were launched on a Friday and initially planned to remain active throughout the weekend, per the Chronicle. The release emphasized that the social media reporting was not intended to replace traditional methods like calling or texting 911 but rather to complement them for the duration of the weekend.
However, at 11 p.m. on that very Friday, the police department reportedly deactivated these accounts and directed individuals to report crimes through the standard 911 channels.
The Oakland Police Department told the Chronicle that reason for the deactivation was "so that we can review the effectiveness of the pilot program."
OPD also said that the this was a test and it concluded as scheduled, but that "this account will be reactivated ahead of our next test.”
As ABC7 reported, Oakland’s had more than 11,000 auto burglaries so far this year — a 36% increase compared to last year.
Image via Oakland Police Department.