The South African Police Service (SAPS) released a media statement saying that it “has noted with great concern the recent spike in video clips on various social media platforms which in recent times have depicted cases of child kidnappings and abduction”.
“To this day, there is no evidence that suggests firstly, that these incidents happened in South Africa and secondly, that these incidents are actually legitimate,” the statement says.
“By now, besides reporting this to the police, one would have expected at least a family would have come forward to publicly confirm at least one of those videos to be legitimate. Secondly the police will never know that these incidents really happened if they are not officially reported. Therefore the only reasonable conclusion we can draw from this is that these videos are hoaxes.
“Some of these videos might even be re-enactments as they are conveniently taken in a way that neither the location nor any other can be ascertained.”
#sapsHQ #SAPS noted with great concern spike in video clips on social media platforms depicted cases of child kidnappings & abduction. #SAPS been trying to confirm if those depictions did or did not occur in SA as many incidents were not reported. SWhttps://t.co/o90z1XUUts pic.twitter.com/XhMZkF2Xzv
— SA Police Service (@SAPoliceService) September 7, 2018
Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo appealed to social media users to act responsibly and verify information before posting or sharing information, as such postings do nothing more than cause unnecessary panic and paranoia among communities.
He said social media, when utilized responsibly, is an important communication platform that assists the 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 various institutions including schools.
“While the recent social media postings remain unconfirmed, it is a reality that children do go missing. Therefore, parents and guardians are urged to exercise vigilance at all times.”
Brigadier Naidoo urgently appealed to people to contact the police first to verify information in instances where they suspect a crime may have been committed or anything suspicious has occurred.
He said that in cases where children are involved, the Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) may be contacted as well as the sector manager of a particular area.
“Discuss your concerns and let us together make informed decisions before posting on social media. Members of the community may call the police’s Crime Stop number, 08600 10111 and all information received will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.”
Call Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo on 082 567 5143 or Colonel Brenda Muridili on 071 686 9425.