When asked about the importance of the long-awaited drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre and the potential impact it could have in the community, Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders said there was a "perception" a lot of crime was drug-related but unfortunately, a great deal was "social media related".
In contrast, Dr Natalie Gately, Criminology expert and Senior Lecturer (School of Law & Justice) at Edith Cowan University, said there is little information to suggest that social media is a driver of crime.
"Of course, social media - TikTok, in particular, is where some do these 'stunts' - more so than committing crime... Those young people perhaps who commit the crime and show themselves on social media are not that bright to do that sort of stuff," Dr Gately said.
"It doesn't seem like a smart thing for a person to do, if they're going to commit a crime to shoot themselves doing it because that's evidence.
"Purposely going out and doing it to have evidence is the minority. It's a small amount of young immature people who have not thought it through properly about evidence. Most other criminals would shy away from anything that would identify them."
Mr Saunders said "a lot" of people are committing crimes for entertainment more so than for financial gain.
"It is really abhorrent but it's what they're doing," he said earlier this month while discussing the centre.
"They're filming it for TikTok and they're competing on social media platforms to be the bravest or toughest or most outrageous, so it isn't always about drugs and money, unfortunately that's a reality.
"What we face there is unfortunately a new wave of crime for all the wrong reasons. It's disgraceful but that's what it is."
Meanwhile, Dr Gately said there is not a sufficient amount of evidence to support Mr Saunders' statement.
"Particularly going against a drug and alcohol rehabilitation [centre] given that so much of our crime problem is associated with drugs and alcohol," she said.
"Dugald has dragged the chain on the rehab issue, and now he's saying it's not a solution," Mr Doolan said.
"The figures show preventative measures help. We ran a 10-year campaign to get this rehab centre which to date has not [been built].
"These politicians count their votes while we count corpses... we're overwhelmed."
Mr Saunders initially announced state government funding for the centre in 2020 but it was only earlier this month a location was confirmed.
Assistant Commissioner Brett Greentree, APM, Corporate Sponsor for Rural Crime said the 'trend' of posting crime online "goes beyond stupidity and recklessness".
"The maximum penalty for a break and enter is 14 years imprisonment, which increases to 20 years in circumstances of aggravation and 25 years in circumstances of special aggravation," he said.
"For vehicle theft, the maximum penalty can be 5 or 10 years imprisonment, depending on the circumstances, and five years just for travelling in a stolen car."
Mr Greentree said filming yourself while committing a crime and posting the video online was a sure-fire way to get yourself arrested, charged and convicted of the offence.
"Everything posted online leaves a digital footprint and even deleted posts/videos can be recovered and tendered as evidence," he said.
"We would ask anyone considering jumping onto this trend: 'Are a few moments of fame on the Internet worth dying for? Or at best, spending years in prison?'."