Angry at the number of online posts alerting people to the presence of police on our roads, a cop has hit out at those posting details of police checkpoints on Traffic Watch sites - as they are also helping dissidents and criminal gangs to avoid or even target police.
In an online post, an officer from PSNI Craigavon said: “I spent one of my afternoons off there getting annoyed with Facebook!
“I know it’s a bit ‘pot kettle black’ considering how often I refer to the ‘professionally offended’ online, but this is a bit different.
“Throughout the country there are numerous traffic watch pages which do sterling work when it comes to keeping commuters updated with road closures, RTCs, and other disruption on the roads.
“As I read some of the comments about the accident on the Westlink yesterday (another post in itself by the way!) I also noticed an alarming number of posts telling people where police were set up for check points or speed checks.
“Now, to someone who thinks to themselves, ‘I’m just letting people know so they don’t get points’ then I guess that’s job done. It’s also time to wake up.
“Just at the weekend, cowards with murderous intent targeted our colleagues in Belfast. In a statement, they weren’t brave enough to come out and announce in person, the woolly faced thugs said they’d been watching for an opportunity to carry out the attacks for a long period of time.
“Good news for the dissidents then seems to be that those who inadvertently let travelling criminal gangs avoid check points, let drink drivers take another route and let car thieves know to turn around, are also letting them know where we are at any given time.
“Please folks, before you post online, THINK about what you could be doing. Are you really just letting people know to slow down? Or are you accidentally helping an array of criminals avoid us, and help dissidents target us?
“If you are an admin of all these pages - please, keep doing the great work you do keeping motorists informed of accidents and roadworks but please stop immediately this practice which not only gives serious criminals the heads up, but could also really be the difference between life and death for us.”