Kiwi police admit social media sites are closed book
The New Zealand police have had to admit they can’t cope with social media after a wanted fugitive announced himself on Facebook.
Michael Shane Hagger, wanted on three warrants, posted ‘Hoorah’ on the Facebook page of the Tauhara Paetiki Neighbourhood Policing Team after reading an appeal for information on his present whereabouts. The police reply to Hagger’s comment was to thank him for liking the site and invite him to contact a detective.
Hagger’s response generated over 50 ‘likes’ before the post suddenly disappeared, after which suggestions by other users indicated the police would have had more luck if they’d left it on. A police spokesperson posted later that the force was out of its depth as regards the social media phenomenon in general, adding they were new to it, although another poster suggested that having citizens informing on each other on Facebook was sad.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Hagger could not attend court as he’d just stopped using methadone, but insisted he’d sent a friend to explain his situation to the judge. Hagger said the court was unimpressed, the friend’s statement was dismissed and an arrest warrant was issued even although a medical certificate and doctor’s report were produced.
The fugitive later told the press that he was planning to turn himself in to police, adding he wanted the matter settled in order to get on with his life. He also seemed upset that the judge had referred to him as a thief and liar.
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