Police warn that Facebook and other social media platforms are not the place to report crime.
Police warn that Facebook and other social media platforms are not the place to report crime.

Facebook not the place to report crime, says police

GRAFTON Police have raised concerns that crime in the Clarence Valley is going unreported to authorities while people with valuable information post warnings on social media rather than contact police.

With social media an increasingly important aspect of people's day-to-day life, many might think posting on social media to warn people of crime was helping the community, but Coffs/Clarence Police District duty officer Chief Inspector Jo Reid said without informing the proper authorities nothing would get done.

The warning was prompted after several posts were made on Clarence Valley based social media pages warning of an alleged incident involving a man exposing himself to children.

However when contacted by The Daily Examiner, Chief Insp Reid said no reports about any incidents had been made to police.

"It's a concern if this incident happened as it's serious stuff and we don't tolerate it in our community, but that being said if we don't know about it, we can't respond to it," Chief Insp Reid said.

"Social media has a use and purpose, but it's not reporting crime. We use Facebook as a means of disseminating information but our Facebook page isn't monitored 24/7 so it's not the place to be reporting crime.

"We don't have the time to be scanning different Facebook pages and groups to see any posts about incidents in our area, which is why it's important for people to talk to us."

Chief Insp Reid said the most reliable way to contact police or to report crime was to call or visit a station, or contact Crime Stoppers.

"It's a concern if people are sharing information on Facebook but not contacting us," she said.

"The quickest way to reach us is the old fashioned way on the phone."

To report a crime contact Grafton Police on 66420222 or Crime Stoppers 1800333000. To report a crime online visit https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.