False crime re­ports cause chaos

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO NEWS - Conelia Harry

UN­CON­FIRMED re­ports of al­leged crimes caused un­nec­es­sary panic last week as com­mu­nity mem­bers broad­cast this ten­ta­tive in­for­ma­tion via so­cial me­dia plat­forms Face­book and What­sapp.

On Wed­nes­day, a post re­quest­ing in­for­ma­tion about an al­leged kid­nap­ping in Aquadene went vi­ral and re­ports of a hu­man traf­fick­ing ring hav­ing tar­geted chil­dren in Richards Bay on Thurs­day caused need­less frenzy among com­mu­nity mem­bers, schools and day care cen­tres.

Ac­cord­ing to Richards

Bay SAPS Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Of­fi­cer, Cap­tain Deb­bie Fer­reira, po­lice did not re­ceive any re­ports of kid­nap­pings or miss­ing per­sons and no cases have been opened to sub­stan­ti­ate these re­ports.

'The po­lice will not ask other groups or in­di­vid­u­als to re­lease re­ports on their be­half, and we want the pub­lic to ver­ify in­for­ma­tion be­fore broad­cast­ing on so­cial me­dia plat­form as well.

'We are con­cerned by the mes­sages and video clips cir­cu­lat­ing on so­cial me­dia de­pict­ing child kid­nap­pings and po­lice have been try­ing to con­firm if these re­ports are le­git­i­mate.

'The alarm­ing rate of false sto­ries be­ing spread lately only sows panic among com­mu­ni­ties and wastes the po­lice's time and re­sources.

'CPF have struc­tures in place through which this kind of in­for­ma­tion can be ver­i­fied be­fore post­ing.

'When re­ceiv­ing a post, you can for­ward it to your lo­cal CPF group ad­min­is­tra­tors or com­mit­tee to ask for ver­i­fi­ca­tion and clar­i­fi­ca­tion of the in­for­ma­tion be­fore fur­ther dis­tribut­ing the in­for­ma­tion.

'Some of these videos might even be re-en­act­ments as they are con­ve­niently taken in a way that nei­ther the lo­ca­tion nor any other de­tail can be ascer­tained.'

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.