Craigavon police have taken to social media in an effort to shame motorists who post social media alerts warning other drivers about police checkpoints.
A local PSNI officer warned that the alerts thwart police work and help drug dealers and dissidents carry out criminal activity in an area already ‘blighted by paramilitary drug gang feuds and murders’.
In recent weeks, social media traffic pages have filled with warnings giving precise locations and times of police patrols and checkpoints in the greater Craigavon area.
However, those who administrate the pages say they are only warning law-abiding motorists to avoid traffic jams.
On Facebook, the local police officer reminded the public of the important role played by checkpoints in apprehending burglars, drink drivers and drug dealers.
“Checkpoints however catch all manner of criminals”, he posted.
“Last one I was at we caught a drink driver.
“A couple of other lads in a section caught a guy who’d just nicked a TV. The owners hadn’t even noticed yet! Last year we caught a disqualified, uninsured, drink driver.
“In the not too distant past, our colleagues have found guns, ammunition and explosives at check points. The list goes on.”
The officer pleaded with social media users to stop and consider what they are doing before they hit share, and warned the administrators of such pages and sites that they are condoning and supporting the behaviour by not removing the alerts.
“Policing works best when we work together”, said the post.
“This does not help though. It’s counterproductive, it’s dangerous, and it puts communities at risk.”