Police ask Facebook to remove page that reveals unmarked car locations

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Victoria, Australia police say the page could compromise their operations, and its owner could face charges.

Police in Australia are upset at Facebook’s refusal to take down a page identifying unmarked police cars.

Residents in the state of Victoria are posting pictures, licence plate numbers, and location details of the unmarked vehicles on a page called VIC Undercover Police Cars. It has racked up 26,000 likes since its creation in early September.

Statuses on the Facebook page include a steady stream of cryptic updates of the cars’ locations. “White ford territory between Horsham and kiata,” reads one update, with commenters speculating as to why an undercover cop was seen there. (Kiata has seen many accidents lately, a person hypothesized.)

Victoria police have asked Facebook to take down the page, claiming it could ruin secret operations and put officers’ lives in danger. The social networking site reportedly denied the request because the pictures are taken on public property, which doesn’t violate Facebook’s Terms of Service.

Police released a statement writing that they “are aware of the Facebook page which shows unmarked police cars and will continue to monitor it.” The page’s owner, if identified, could be held criminally liable.

The attention aimed at the page hasn’t deterred users from posting. Some are using the page’s wall to express why the police’s condemnation is all for naught.

“Its not like I want to read thousands of comments to find out every unmarked in vic,” wrote Brendan Thompson. “And if I did, the chance of me remembering them all is fuck all. So everyone quit your bitching about the page. My local radio station tells everyone where speed cameras are anyone.. whats the fuss?”

The state of Victoria appears to be muddled in a constant state of disagreement between citizens and cops. In August, a Facebook page identifying the locations of “booze busses” upset police, who said it was a “slap in the face” to people who die in drunk driving accidents.

Photo via VIC Undercover Police Cars/Facebook

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