Police unfriend Facebook page
‘‘Sadly it will probably never be as successful unless it's strictly 'local' to each area. Who takes as much notice of wanted petty criminals outside their immediate neighbourhood?’’
Police say an incident where a woman was falsely implicated in a crime did not contribute to a shut down of the Queenstown Police Facebook page.
The page is being merged into a Southern District police page.
Police head of brand and engagement James Whitaker said the shoplifting suggestion ’’didn’t contribute to the decision’’.
‘‘This decision is a part of a change across all police districts,’’ he said.
In June, Queenstown mother Ginny Mitchell featured in a video posted on the page that included a man grabbing eight jackets from a local store. She was noted as a possible accomplice.
The implication was wrong. Police took the post down and apologised to Mitchell.
Whitaker said despite the demise of the page, Queenstown and other Otago centres would still receive information about incidents in the area and it would not be less helpful.
Asked if it was cost-saving measure, Whitaker said it wasn’t.
‘‘It’s about improving community engagement.’’
Staff in Wellington and Dunedin would run the page, he said.
The Queenstown, Wanaka, Dunedin and Southland pages would all be merged.
The same would happen in other police districts around the country, Whitaker said.
People expressed their disappointment on the Queenstown Police Facebook page.
Bridget Cameron said: ‘‘Sadly it will probably never be as successful unless it’s strictly ‘local’ to each area. Who takes as much notice of wanted petty criminals outside their immediate neighbourhood?’’
Victoria Lund said: ‘‘And there goes the great local intel.’’
The adjustment follows several changes in police communications since a new national media centre opened in Wellington in May.
An instruction to direct most queries to the media centre left many reporters feeling important public information was being filtered.
The Central Otago Year 8 basketball team, which won the South Island tournament (development grade) in Oamaru on July 17.