Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, is advising the public to ignore social media posts concerning COVID-19 and law enforcement issues, which are inaccurate, and which can cause unnecessary panic in the country.
In an official statement issued today, Commissioner Griffith points to three recent instances where seemingly anonymous social media security sources posted inaccurate information, via WhatsApp and viral videos.
“In the first instance, we have a video showing illegal immigrants running onto the shore, saying it could have been Los Iros, Moruga, Cedros and Icacos. It turned out to be nationals of the Dominican Republic entering Puerto Rico,” the top cop notes in the Police Service release.
“In the second instance, social media was abuzz with information that the Prime Minister was going to implement a State of Emergency/Curfew long before he hosted his media conference on May 3rd. This turned out to be false,” he points out.
He added: “In the third incident, a man who claimed to be an insider within the Ministry of National Security, posted audio within the past 24 hours saying he came out of a meeting at the Ministry of National Security with the Telecommunications Department, and that the COVID situation was very bad. He even advised people to panic buy. However, there was no such meeting.”
According to Commissioner Griffith, these three incidents could have the effect of creating fear among the population and causing panic buying across the country.
“This would cause the officers of the TTPS to respond to unnecessary matters when they could have been performing their normal activities,” the Commissioner says.
In addition to advising the public to ignore these false social media posts, Commissioner Griffith also is asking the public to refrain from sharing these messages as this could cause further panic among the population.
The top cop is reminding citizens that they should only accept information relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic from official sources, such as the Ministry of Health and bulletins from the TTPS.