Facebook no substitute for real crime reporting

DUBBO residents have been reminded that reporting crime on social media sites is no substitute for contacting police.

It comes after a string of people took to the Dubbo Crime Reports Facebook page to raise concerns about incidents they had witnessed or heard about from friends and family.

Orana Local Area Command Inspector Alan Cusack was concerned some recent reports on social media sites had not been followed by actual reports to police.

The Dubbo Crime Reports Facebook page was not run by police, he said, and while it could be a useful tool if it encouraged people to be more observant, it was difficult for police to know about a crime or act on it in a timely manner if it was not reported through the proper channels.

Reports of prowlers and rock-throwing incidents in various parts of Dubbo featured prominently on Dubbo Crime Reports in the past week.

One contributor wrote she arrived home to find a teenager in the yard of her Avian Estate house on Wednesday, who "jumped the fence and casually wandered through each yard in the street".

Another thread began with reports of a prowler peering into windows in the early hours of Wednesday morning in areas including Margaret Crescent, Fairview, Palmer and Hammond streets and Langford Drive.

One contributor said she believed people who had been casing the area had left watermelon skins at residences they planned to break into. A separate post suggested intruders had used glow sticks rather than watermelon skins as markers.

Meanwhile some people had posted comments that rocks had been thrown at houses in east and north Dubbo.

Inspector Cusack said police also took rock-throwing seriously and urged people to report them.

"It's not only damage to property - people can be seriously injured or killed as a result of a rock being thrown or from a shanghai (slingshot) projectile," he said.

He said with school holidays on the way, it was a good time to remind people about the dangers of children using slingshots.

"Anyone caught carrying one without a good reason will have it confiscated and may be charged with possessing a prohibited weapon," he said.

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