Social media ‘hysteria’ over youth crime

MAFFRA police are urging people to report crimes to police rather than post reports online, following a rise in “social media hysteria” over local youth crime.

Sergeant Anthony Dessent said there had been a rise in “unwarranted and unnecessary” social media posts as a result of recent crimes committed by “a small group of youths” in the area.

“Maffra police are aware of the recent problems and anti-social behaviour of a small number of youths in Maffra, particularly during the recent school holidays,” he said.

“Police have received a limited number of formal complaints regarding these youths’ behaviour and these complaints have been investigated.

“This has resulted in a number of outcomes for those young offenders involved, such as welfare notifications, undertaking the police cautioning program and being summonsed to court for criminal matters.

“There are still reports which have not been resolved as yet, but investigations into these are continuing.”

Sergeant Dessent said police were continuing to monitor local social media sites in relation to reports of criminal and anti-social behaviour by the youths.

“Police ask those posting these incidents, that in the first instance, to contact their local police station or 000, and to report these incidents to police rather than posting incidents on social media,” he said.

“Maffra police would like to assure the community any incidents involving youths causing trouble are taken seriously and will be investigated thoroughly.”

If police attendance is needed or people witnesses a crime being committed, they should phone 000.