THE team who administer the Facebook site Report All in Orange NSW-with other Towns and Articles of Interest, say the site was established as a public service with no intention of it becoming “the next CSI”.
The team’s comments come after Canobolas Local Area Command duty officer Peter Atkins questioned the necessity of such a site in an article in the Central Western Daily (CWD) on Tuesday.
Inspector Atkins expressed his concern that there was no way of verifying the accuracy of the information published on the site.
Established early this year, the site set out to “inform the local community of what was going on” the administrators said in an emailed response to questions from the CWD.
“The focus of the group changed to help people make them aware of the dangers that are happening in our streets,” the administrators said.
“We see [it] as a way of reminding them to be vigilant.”
The site administrators told the CWD that solving crimes was not their priority.
“It’s bringing awareness to the community about what is happening, if that be crimes in the area, or about accidents or road closures, or pets missing or weather reports... but certainly our aim wasn’t to become the next CSI!”
Recently a member asked for verification of a shooting in Glenroi, however “no one had heard anything and that was the end of that post”, the administrators said.
The administrators said they had strict rules about not publishing items in bad taste and wouldn’t publish information about the location of random breath testing operations or unmarked cars as it may hinder police.
The administrators told the CWD site users came from all walks of life.
“We are like an extended family, each has their way of doing things and people know where the lines are and not to cross them,” the administrators said. “If they do they know about it as each member protects each other in some respects.
“No one knows their neighbours these days, people might try and keep an eye out for each other, but when was the last time you spoke with a neighbour, or anyone in your street for that matter?”.
“It’s a great tool for keeping up-to-date with what is going on in the community.”
Despite police reservations about private Facebook sites such as this one, the administrators said they were pleased police were “finally up to speed with social media” with the Canobolas Local Area Command having set up its own Facebook site.
The site administrators declined to be interviewed face-to-face.