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What Is Scoring? The SPVM Says Police Are Seeing 'More & More' Of The Violent Trend

According to SPVM Deputy Director Vincent Richer, social media "scoring" has become a driver of violent crime and the police want to do something about it.

But what exactly is scoring and why are the Montreal police concerned about it?

Scoring "is something that is used to brag on social media [...] people are going to set an objective and they're going to brag about it on social media saying they accomplished an exploit," Richer explained at a press conference in late November.

In a nutshell, "scoring" can be understood as a social media trend in which criminals use social networks to brag and encourage violent achievements.

The deputy director called scoring a "new phenomenon" in Montreal: "Now we're seeing more and more of it."

He said that while in the past, crime syndicates and organized crime acted in "very precise" ways, now "social media is where it's going on. That's where people are talking to each other, they're bragging, they're settling some scores and after that, they're doing it on the street with real violence."

"Police services have to adapt."

Generally, experts have long argued that social media has drastically changed the face of crime. And with more crime emerging on social media networks, some researchers believe that the police can also use it as an effective tool for fighting crime.

In a March 2019 study on "The Relationship Between Social Media Data and Crime Rates in the United States," researchers at the University of California said their findings suggested it was "possible to identify emerging crime hot spots using social media."

"When we talk about the hottest place in Montreal right now, it's social media," Richer said Monday.

"That's where we want to work; we want to work on this aspect of society that's different than it [was] two to five years ago."

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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