City MP calls for punishment for Twitter hoaxers

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PEOPLE posting false and malicious information on Twitter should get the same punishment as hoax 999 callers.

That’s the opinion of Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart, and it comes after reports that significant police time was wasted investigating rumours of mob activities on various social media sites.

MPs from across the country were recalled on Thursday to discuss the issue, and Mr Stewart urged Prime Minister David Cameron to ensure laws and penalties are updated to tackle the issue.

In Milton Keynes, Thames Valley Police set up a Twitter account to help quell rumours about various parts of the city being the victim of riots on Tuesday.

Mr Cameron agreed, and said: “Just as the Police have been using technology more effectively, so the criminals are now using technology more effectively. There were an awful lot of hoaxes and false trails that were laid on Twitter and Blackberry Messenger”.

After the debate, Mr Stewart said: “I am delighted the Prime Minister has taken seriously this new threat posed by developing technology. I am determined to see that the law keeps up with the technology, so that no valuable police time is wasted.”

Mr Stewart added: “The spate of violence in London and other parts of the country is abhorrent. It is quite simply thuggery and greed. I wish to see those guilty punished severely and not given just a slap on the wrist.

“I am pleased Supt Nikki Ross and her team have kept up a very visible presence in the city and swiftly quelled the minor incidents in Bletchley and other areas of my constituency.”

Mark Lancaster said: “Like every sensible person in the country I was horrified at the continued violent behaviour across Britain. Obviously I am relieved we have not seen such widespread disorder in Milton Keynes and am heartened by our residents who went to help with London’s clean-up. They have proved that public spiritedness will always win out over wanton destructiveness.”