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01/09/2008 by

UK Teens Illegal Pool Crashing Via Google Earth

The latest craze for UK teens with no place to go except Facebook is “illegal pool crashing,” or gatecrashing someone else’s swimming pool via Google Earth.


The teens select their swimming pool using Google Earth, and then notify their mates using social networking sites.

Once a target house ith swimming pool is chosen, the organisers use social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo to arrange to meet, say UK police.

The would-be revellers often turn up in fancy dress, and are advised to bring a bike (for a swift getaway). Owners only discover their pool has been dipped when they find a bunch of beer cans floating on the surface the next morning.

It’s amazing to see that brand managers can’t find online ways to reach and target screenagers, but that screenagers have plenty digital skills to target the swimming pools of the same brand managers. Do you feel the gap I’m referring to?

Officers said that residents have woken up to find youngsters ‘dipping’ in their back gardens, or have come home from work to a swimming pool full of beer cans. One group has already boasted on the internet that it held an event earlier this week. Sixteen people are said to have gatecrashed two pools near Bournemouth.

The rules of ‘dipping’ often include wearing fancy dress and participants are urged to ‘bring a bike’ to escape if discovered. There are fears that the craze could spread across the UK as the weather improves and pool owners leave their homes unattended while on holiday.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said yesterday: ‘We are advising owners of swimming pools to be on their guard. ‘We would also warn prospective swimmers that using someone else’s pool is trespassing and therefore illegal.’

The group responsible for organising Monday’s ‘dipping’ session listed a specific meeting place, a midnight to 3am duration and mobile telephone numbers for the organisers.

Although there were only 16 confirmed participants at the ‘event’, invitations were sent to more than 500 users on Facebook.

Comments left by admirers of the group suggested that the craze could be spreading. One message reads: ‘You crazy lot and your crazy antiks (sic). Don’t think I can make it but maybe I can do it on my own in London.’

Social networking sites such as MySpace have previously caused trouble for families after private parties advertised online have been gatecrashed by hordes of unruly teenagers.

A £4million mansion in Marbella last month became the latest home to be invaded by uninvited guests, when they gatecrashed a girl’s 16th birthday party.


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Igor Beuker
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