Hunter Valley Police District Chief Inspector urges against taking to social media amid recent break-ins

HUNTER Valley Police District Chief Inspector Guy Guiana is reminding residents to contact police before taking to social media with information regarding a crime, following a string of thefts at Scone’s main street last week. 

Between the evening of Thursday, March 1, and early the following morning, there were three attempted break-ins and two break and enters on commercial premises in Scone including The Cottage restaurant. 

Inspector Guiana said police started receiving calls from around 7am Friday and attended each of the locations throughout the morning.  

“Details have been recorded and crime scene examinations arranged,” he said. 

“Police have good reason to believe all the offences were committed by the same individual or individuals and we have several good lines of enquiry to follow up.

“The method of operation of these offences is similar to previous incidents in Scone and we will look into possible links.

“CCTV is an important tool, both as a deterrent and for investigation if an incident does occur.

“But, we ask that people speak to police before they post images or express opinions about suspects on social media.”

Inspector Guiana said the rules of evidence are a mine field and identification evidence especially so.  

“I know that it is an emotive issue and people are keen to see offenders caught but social media posts can jeopardise successful prosecutions,” he said. 

“Additionally, it can alert offenders causing them to go to ground and dispose of clothing and other evidence that we might otherwise be able to use in court.  

“We only ask that victims speak to police first and allow us to determine the appropriate time to circulate such material.

“As always, we urge people to review their security arrangements.”

Anyone with further information about these incidents in Scone are asked to contact Scone Police on 6544 0199, the Hunter Valley Police District office on 6542 6999 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.