Cops lament social media vigilantism

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Police have warned locals of the consequences if they take the law into their own hands following an increase in social media posts about youth crime.

Following alleged claims on social media of adults chasing after children who had thrown rocks, South Hedland officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Allan Jane urged adults to think critically before they acted.

“Adults who choose to take matters into their own hands put themselves and others at risk,” he said.

“It only takes one poor choice by adults to result in the physical harm of children and lead to adults being charged.”

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Sen. Sgt Jane said the law recognised children had to be treated differently, and it aimed to give children chances to make better decisions and grow.

“Police are trained to intervene dispassionately and objectively in accordance with the law,” he said.

“They’re removed from the passion of the moment and it’s in that moment that adults make choices resulting in the harm of a child.”

Sen. Sgt Jane urged residents to call police if they saw a child perpetrating a crime and to file a report.

He added despite the misconception, police do follow up on every report made to the station.

“Police deal with all matters on a priority basis,” he said.

“Officers may get a call for issues around youth at a park while at a domestic violence issue, it comes down to what is happening at the time, place and circumstances surrounding a call.”

Sen. Sgt Jane’s comments also come after it was discovered social media had been the first point of contact for many issues in the Hedland area.

Residents are encouraged to report all crime either through calling the South Hedland Police Station on 9160 2100 or call the police assistance line on 13 14 44.

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