‘Kidnap’ post causes panic in Emerald
A FACEBOOK post caused a lot of panic, mis-information and despair last week after a post, claiming an attempted kidnap had happened in Emerald, began circulating.
Emerald police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Peter McFarlane said the reports of the attempted kidnapping were simply not true.
"Essentially it was Chinese whispers," Snr Sgt McFarlane said.
"It started from an incident half-way through last week which is completely non-related... involving a private custody dispute. By Friday the rumour was that persons in a van had attempted to kidnap two young people by the road."
Snr Sgt McFarlane said being wary of what was posted on social media was "incredibly important".
"Firstly, it spreads information that is not confirmed to the rest of the public and all of a sudden we (the police) are on the back foot trying to investigate something that has not happened," he said.
"Certainly if there is any information, get it to us first so we can look at it.
"If there are any dangers like that (the kidnapping rumour) we can ring schools ourselves and even put it on our QPS Facebook site."
Snr Sgt McFarlane said social media posts had the ability to create panic.
"We would encourage anyone with any information to contact us quickly, before anything gets on to social media which is not accurate and begins to spread any sort of panic in the community," he said.