Friday, June 20, 2008

Illegal 'dipping' parties on Google Earth

GATECRASHERS are using Google Earth and Facebook to organise illegal pool parties.

Police said illegal pool parties in Bournemouth and Devon, UK, were arranged using online mapping services and social networks.

The revellers used Google Earth to find local pools then invited hundreds of friends through social networks like Facebook and MySpace, The Daily Mail reported.

The trend, known as "dipping", has become popular during the UK summer. Participants sometimes wear fancy dress and bring bikes for a quick getaway.

Police said some residents had woken to find strangers in their pools, or returned from holidays to find the backyard full of beer cans.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall police advised pool owners to be on their guard for revellers seeking a quick dip. He warned prospective swimmers that using someone else's pool was "trespassing and therefore illegal".

Earlier this week, ACT police revealed there had been a string of eBay-related robberies around Canberra after users listed their home address on the auction site.

"Don't give thieves a roadmap to your property," Detective Sergeant Dave Harrison said.

"There's no need to publicly display your address."

Google Earth, however, publicly lists addresses on its satellite mapping service.


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