Bandar Seri Begawan - With the spate of cases involving death, robbery and assault in recent weeks, the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) has urged the public not to be influenced by speculations spread by social media such as Facebook and WhatsApp. The police are doing their best to carry out proper investigations so that those who are involved in such cases would be brought to justice as soon as possible.
This was disclosed by senior officials, the Criminal Investigation Department during a press conference yesterday.
"In connection with the cases, the RBPF through the Criminal Investigation Department reassures that whenever investigations have been completed, those who are responsible will be brought to the courts for further action to be taken," they said, adding that members of the public and the media would also be informed on the cases.
"The police cannot divulge any details of cases pending investigations so as to avoid sub judice (under judgment)," they said, noting that this would hinder investigations because the cases have not been brought before the courts.
The police, meanwhile, reassured the public that they would increase patrols around the country as a precautionary measure.
The police hope the local press will be able to ensure that news regarding criminal cases are sourced directly from them so as to avoid speculation, which may in turn cause panic.
"It is not that we don't want to provide information freely ... We just don't want cases to be 'on trial before die trial'," they said, noting that this "could affect die outcome of cases".
Citing the recent Pizza Hut case as an example, the police said that a photo that was circulated in the social media was in fact of no relation to the case in Brunei.
The police added that this case was still under investigation.
With the emergence of WhatsApp and Facebook, the police said that it has made their job "more challenging".
"Nowadays, it's all about what people believe and what people don't believe," they said, adding that the purpose of carrying out police investigation is to "find the truth, and not to speculate".
Regarding the story of a case involving an elephant that was reported in the media, the police said: "In future, it would be better if.
Pertaining to the elephant story reported in the media, one of the senior officials said: "The content of the article gave the public the impression that it was actually refuting what the police had discovered and raising questions, as well as confusing the public. In the future, it will be better to have a clause to inform the readers that the comments in the article are not from all expert."
Following the publication of the article, the police had to contact the doctor (veterinarian) and were made to understand that the statements were not to be released until the forensic report was out.
"The doctor was not working with us (the police) at the moment, and did not have the full facts of the case," the police said. "When it's a matter of opinion, the danger is insinuating that the elephant was not the cause of death and there is a murderer out there."
In his view, the article published would create panic among the public; which he said was a danger.
"The media has the social responsibility to ensure that what has been published is responsible reporting, and not create panic," he said.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin