Be mind­ful on­line

Broome Advertiser - - Opinion - Con­sta­ble Travis Richer

So­cial me­dia in the mod­ern age helps us ful­fil our in­sa­tiable ap­petite for in­stan­ta­neous in­for­ma­tion.

News, foot­ball scores, jokes and pic­tures can be sent out, re­ceived and for­warded in an in­stant.

The only prob­lem is that if the in­for­ma­tion is wrong, once sent, it is in the pub­lic do­main and no longer be­longs to the per­son who sent it.

It is im­por­tant to know what you are post­ing, and why you are post­ing it on Face­book, Twit­ter, In­sta­gram and the many other plat­forms avail­able.

When it comes to crim­i­nal mat­ters, you may not re­alise you are post­ing some­thing that could be harm­ful to an in­no­cent per­son, or an in­ves­ti­ga­tion that is un­der way.

This is par­tic­u­larly per­ti­nent when it af­fects a per­son who can­not re­ply.

Re­mem­ber, you may not know the full story and in most cases where po­lice are in­volved, there are things hap­pen­ing be­hind the scenes you are prob­a­bly not aware of.

Face­book pages such as the Broome Neigh­bour­hood Watch and the Broome Com­mu­nity No­tice­board are a fan­tas­tic way to dis­cuss is­sues with each other, and tell peo­ple what is hap­pen­ing around you.

It is im­por­tant to en­sure, if you are talk­ing about a po­lice or law en­force­ment is­sue, you don’t use this medium for calls for vig­i­lante ac­tion, ill-in­formed com­ments or as a way of re­port­ing a crime.

There is no point post­ing sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity on these pages un­less you also con­tact your lo­cal po­lice and let us know what you have seen.

Please re­mem­ber to re­port all crimes and sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour di­rectly to your lo­cal po­lice sta­tion and re­frain from using so­cial me­dia as your first port of call.

Re­mem­ber, so­cial me­dia is not mon­i­tored 24/7 by po­lice, and can­not be used to re­port a crime or ask for help.

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