Saint Lucia police have expressed concern that WhatsApp broadcasts are ‘alerting criminals’ to law enforcement operations.
A senior law enforcement official observed recently that the practice of persons broadcasting messages alerting members of the public to when and where there are traffic checks or road blocks, hampers the police from performing their duties.
Just this week, at least two such messages were making the rounds, although it was not immediately clear when they were broadcast.
“Yeah Messieurs, I see them pass down by Marina deh – bike in front, two vans behind; Gros Islet police,” a heavy male voice declares in one WhatsApp broadcast obtained by St Lucia Times.
The voice advises persons on the highway to “open you all eyes” because he was not aware exactly where the police were going.
“Look for them – they come from North going down,” the male individual says.
In a separate message a different animated male voice alerts people to a road block.
“Messieurs – all those that coming from work deh; road block at the back of Corinth. Watch you all selves; they searching everybody – stopping everybody. Watch you all selves messieurs,” it declares.
On Monday, the issue of the WhatsApp broadcasts about police operations was raised during the MBC Television programme ‘Police Insight’.
Aa message was broadcast via WhatsApp shortly afterwards asserting that the eyes of the police were now ‘opening wide’.