POLICE REQUEST: Police ask the community to not post gossip or unconfirmed reports about police operations such as when a female swimmer was feared missing off the coast of Evans Head, as this can cause distress and confusion. Picture: Javier Encalada
POLICE REQUEST: Police ask the community to not post gossip or unconfirmed reports about police operations such as when a female swimmer was feared missing off the coast of Evans Head, as this can cause distress and confusion. Picture: Javier Encalada

Police warn people not to post ‘unconfirmed’ sightings

A SENIOR police officer has urged people to refrain from posting unconfirmed updates and reports during emergency services operations which he said can cause unnecessary distress and confusion.

Richmond Police District Acting Inspector Russell Ewing said a recent example occurred when they were conducting a large scale search for an alleged missing swimmer in Evans Head.

A post on a community information website claimed the missing woman had been confirmed as having been safe at home all along.

"I want to remind the community not to post any supposed updates on social media which have not been confirmed by police reports," Act Insp Ewing said.

"Please be mindful that unconfirmed reports can cause distress or confuse the investigation."

Act Insp Ewing said as soon as police had information they would released it through media and their own social media channels.

Meanwhile, he confirmed the search for the missing woman swimmer has been halted for the moment.

"The search has been suspended as there has been no report of anyone missing," he said.

"We have undertaken a thorough check and no-one has been reporting missing and we have located no abandoned cars or campsites."

Act Insp Ewing said one possibility was that people who reported the swimmer missing saw her enter the water but not come out again.

"It is possible the swimmer has no idea she has been reported as missing," he said.

He said anyone with any information should contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.