Commissioner Walwyn said in a statement on Wednesday, 11th January, 2012, “I became concerned when I read an internet radio station’s website report of ’17 tourists robbed in the Federation.”
Mr. Walwyn also described the headline as very alarming and the truth and the fact is that 17 tourists were not robbed in the Federation.
“Some members of a ship were dropped off in New Town to play soccer. While they were playing soccer and involved in the game, a young man believed to be from the area walked over to the unattended bags, took one and left. He was observed by one of the players leaving the area with the bag, but that player said he was so involved in the game, he did not alert the other players,” said Mr. Walwyn, adding:
“There was no confrontation between the suspect and the owner of the bag. Because there was no confrontation (actual or implied) there was no robbery. The charge then would be larceny, based on the dollar value of the contents.”
Mr. Walwyn also negated other news reports that masked men were involved in an incident on Tuesday at the Charles E. Mills Secondary School.
“It was students who were involved in the altercation,” said Commissioner Walwyn who added: “It is indeed very troubling to see media outlets publishing stories without first seeking clarification or verification.”
Mr. Walwyn urged media houses to be more responsible in publishing stories without having substantiated information.
“Just this week, there were three stories on one internet media outlet that publishes some stories without verifying the information,” said the police chief.
“Credibility is a word that should not be regarded lightly. Media houses that report unsubstantiated information should be concerned about their credibility,” said Mr. Walwyn.
He gave the assurance that the Police have a duty to protect victims of crime and cannot give details of the incident “because it is either under investigation or the next of kin has not yet been notified.”
“As Commissioner, I want the media to be a part of the important role in fighting crime,” said Mr. Walwyn.
He said the police force’s press and public relations officer and other senior members are willing to provide any information requested as long as it does not compromise on-going investigations.