Danger of reporting crime on WhatsApp

The police are urging people, instead of reporting crime on social media, to lay criminal complaints so they can open cases.

This comes after two men were identified on a WhatsApp group as criminals, arrested by a security firm but released by police, as no cases had been reported.

Yesterday, Atlas Security took to social media announcing the arrest of the men after pictures of them, walking in Second Avenue, Summerstrand, had been circulated on WhatsApp.

The alert was picked up by Atlas who sent officers to investigate.

“After they were questioned, the two men ran off into nearby bush,” the post read.

“The chase led to the old stadium, where [an] Atlas Security officer caught [a] suspect in the bush and made the arrest.

“The SAPS were called in to support in the search for the second suspect, who was located from the SAPS chopper.

“Information was handed to the team on the ground and the SAPS arrested the second suspect.”

The post also stated that one of the men had been identified by Atlas Security as having been arrested last year for an alleged mugging in Summerstrand.

Police spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said: “The men were brought into the police station for profiling and questioning to see if they could be linked to any open cases.

“By midday, their fingerprints and profiles revealed that they had no warrants of arrest and could not be linked to any open cases, including robbery and muggings, in the area,” she said.

“The men were subsequently released due to lack of evidence.

“This is why cases need to be opened and reported to police.

“There were claims that these men had robbed someone last week, but there were no criminal cases allowing us to proceed.”

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