Wed | Jun 19, 2019

Gleaner Editors' Forum | Callers making malicious reports to terrorise enemies - Some calls to Crime Stop force police to apologise to persons

Published:Friday | October 5, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Acting Assistant Commissioner McArthur Sutherland, head of the police Criminal Investigation Branch.

Haters, especially intimate partners, have used the Crime Stop hotlines to terrorise their enemies with false reports.

Representatives of Crime Stop told a recent Gleaner Editors' Forum that last month, they received three calls determined to be malicious to add to the 11 similar calls they received during the first eight months of the year.

"Somebody targets someone because they don't like them, and so they keep on calling about someone who has a gun in their house. The police come and search and find nothing, and they keep calling to say there is ganja in the house," said Prudence Gentles, manager at Crime Stop.

"Those are the kinds of malicious calls we are getting - the ones that people are just doing to be nasty to others."

Acting Assistant Commissioner McArthur Sutherland, head of the police Criminal Investigation Branch, told the forum that the police are obliged to act on information provided, but in suspected cases of malicious calls, location case assessment is done.

 

MINIMISING IMPACT

 

Sutherland noted that similar assessments are done for all reports to the police to determine the volatility of the area and the best approaches to minimise loss of life and property.

"A lot of the vetting around the information, the content itself, is done by Crime Stop. They have a system of accountability, where they can determine malicious calls, so that helps," noted Sutherland.

"But when it gets to the on-the-ground assessment - something that is repeated and almost continuous - it will guide our approach and how we relate to the individuals."

He noted that sometimes, the police act on these calls.

"We do the search, but we apologise because we realise that this is something that is obviously causing discomfort, and there are obvious reasons to believe that it was a malicious call," said Sutherland.

erica.virtue@gleanerjm.com