A man was gunned down just hours after he was labelled as a police informant – and his picture was plastered all over Facebook.
Domenico Masciopinto, 30, was shot in the street in Bedford last Sunday afternoon and remains in hospital with serious injuries.
Bedfordshire police believe the shooting may be connected to a post on Facebook which appeared to be an official document identifying Domenico as a police informant.
The message gave Domenico’s name and included a photograph and was also distributed by mobile phones.
A Bedfordshire police spokeswoman said that a person has been arrested and charged in connection with the appearance of the image in the public domain.
She said yesterday: ”We are aware that there had been a posting on a third party’s Facebook page suggesting the victim was a police informant.
”The posting appears to be an image of a page from the police custody system, which is not accessible to outside sources.
”This particular data system is not used by the police for recording any information at all on registered informants.
”The image has been circulated on facebook and had text added to it by a third party to make it appear as if the person is a registered informant.
”Obviously the investigation team are following this line of enquiry to establish if the posting and the shooting are connected.
”Information about registered informants is kept in a secure system with full access limited to specialist intelligence officers.”