Police warn against social media scares



Police have appealed to social media users to refrain from posting unverified information on social media sites.

This comes after two unrelated incidents were circulating on social media platforms yesterday, Wednesday, 5 September 2018, warning community members of incidents of kidnapping of children in and around the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro (PE, Motherwell and Uitenhage) .

Police [would]also like to allay fears on social media that no truck was stopped that was used in transporting children [in the]suspicion of trafficking between Nanaga and Port Elizabeth. However police wish to state that a small van was stopped that was conveying illegal immigrants. The case is being dealt with by the Hawks.

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon (6 September) SAPS Corporate Communication said, “There [is]a lot of information circulating around [concerning]the abduction of children, and [the police]acknowledge your fear as parents.

“Police would like to commend the public on their vigilance regarding safety while at the same time we must be cautious how information is relayed on social media without verification. Distortion of facts can have dire consequences and cause unnecessary panic and mayhem in the community.”

SAPS acknowledged that social media is an important communication platform that assists police in combating crime and arresting criminals.

“The South African Police Service assures the community that continuous awareness and educational talks on the safety of our children are done at schools and institutions.

“An urgent appeal is made to people in instances where you suspect a crime may have been committed or anything suspicious to contact the police first to verify such information.”

In cases where children are involved, the Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) would be engaged.

“Discuss your concerns and let us together make informed decisions before posting on social media. Be assured that all information is treated with the utmost urgency.”

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