A new craze has caught on among teenagers in U.K. Google Earth, which has high-quality satellite images of most metropolitan areas, is being misused by over-smart teens, to locate houses that have swimming pools and gatecrash to throw pool parties.
Once they have zeroed in on an appropriate location, they organise a pool party at that place through social networking sites such as Bebo and Facebook. Needless to say this is done without the permission or knowledge of the pool owners – in other words they pool-crash!
This activity has taken on such alarming proportions, that the police in areas like Devon and Cornwall have issued warnings to swimming pool owners, through the Daily Mail newspaper, to be on guard.
They have also warned youngsters that “using someone else’s pool, is trespassing and therefore illegal.”
Owners of many such pool-side homes, have woken up, or come home to find a poolside party in progress, or worse still, the left-overs of a rowdy party, such as empty beer cans, and vomit floating around in the water.
Miscreants freely hand out mobile phone numbers of the organisers of these pool-crash parties through Facebook. Get-togethers are often held in the middle of the night.
The organisers even set up certain rules for the participants, such as coming in fancy dress etc, and to bring a bike if possible, to facilitate a quick escape in the event that they are discovered.
It is feared that if this craze is not checked immediately, it will spread during the summer vacation as people tend to go on holiday, leaving their homes unguarded, and revelers are more likely to seek out a pool to party in.
This is not the first time that social networking sites have been used to cause trouble. In the past, private parties have been gatecrashed through the social network MySpace.