False crime reports cause chaos
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.'