City Manager Bernard Kipit is calling on city residents to stop spreading baseless information about alleged abduction cases that is creating panic and fear throughout the city.
Mr Kipit issued this statement in response to continuous posts on social media (Face Book) over the last two weeks alleging the involvement of a group in a moving vehicle snatching young people in the streets and public areas.
While the information on social media remains unconfirmed to this day, the extensive coverage has promoted the situation to one of kidnapping that has aroused fear in many city residents.
However, Mr. Kipit stressed that while that is the perceived belief, the truth of the matter is that no one has come forward to report the matter to police for its relevant investigations.
The City Manager was concerned that the baseless information has created unnecessary disturbance to the daily operations of the city residents and some related happenings are totally unnecessary.
He was referring to the incident at the Boroko Police Station where a large crowd converge to see suspected kidnappers been brought into the station last Sunday morning after the information of the arrest went viral on Face Book.
“The social media hype is already sending wrong signals to the public and opportunists are taking advantage of the situation to raid shops and causing all kinds of problems,” Mr. Kipit said.
Mr Kipit said the information was totally false and the public was misled to believe that it was actually a kidnap case when it was not.
“If you hear anything, go straight to the police and report it rather than posting it on social media, then the police will be able to conduct immediate investigation into these allegations.”
He said so many fake allegations and misleading information were posted on social media that were not being verified by the police yet the general public believed them to be true, thus been misinformed and been apprehensive.
NCDC is not taking the matter lightly though, it has met with the NCD Metropolitan Command to clear the air on this unsubstantiated rumours that is creating fear, confusion and panic throughout the city.
Mr Kipit is appealing to the general public in particular those posting fake information on social media especially on Face Book to stop immediately as it is instilling fear and anxiety in the communities.
The City Manager said all these stories on social media are baseless and no formal reports have been lodged at police stations for police to carry out relevant investigations.
He advised the general public to report anything they hear or see relating to kidnapping so that police can immediately conduct investigations into these allegations.
He said so far nothing has being reported except for one or two cases on sexual harassment and other crimes.
"The general public is strongly urged to refrain from posting fake news in the social media to mislead and misinform everyone and trigger unnecessary panic and fear in the city."
“This itself is a crime, hence anyone caught doing so will be arrested and charged by the police,” the City Manager warned.
He called on everyone including business houses and schools to be wary of such misleading and baseless information to avoid unnecessary disruptions to normal operations.
“While the stories are unconfirmed, safety should be exercised at all times and I want to urge everyone in the city to be safety cautious as they go about with their respective business in the city."