Fiji Time: 2:23 AM on Friday 23 February

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Social media decay

Mere Naleba
Friday, February 09, 2018

POLICE will investigate members of the public who posted pictures of themselves on social media posing with the decapitated limbs allegedly belonging to the victim of a fatal road accident at Davuilevu in Nausori yesterday morning.

Photographs from the accident were circulated on social media minutes after the accident and these pictures were taken even after the scene was cordoned off.

Police chief of intelligence and investigations Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Biu Matavou said the circulation of graphic photographs on social media should stop. "The manner in which some have displayed the insatiable need to take photos of the victim even to the extent of posing with the victim's decapitated limbs is shameful and disrespectful," ACP Matavou said.

He said they were furnished with a picture circulating on social media where a person was supposedly holding up the decapitated limb of the victim.

"Not only is it illegal, but is a major health concern. There are a number of hazards in disturbing a scene of crime which is first and foremost unethical," ACP Matavou said.

"But the handling of the victim's decapitated limbs is a bio-hazard because one is exposing themselves to potential harmful diseases."

ACP Matavou said they understood that there were accident cases where first aid or assistance could be given by bystanders before the arrival of emergency services and police did not discourage this sort of assistance.

"The use of social media to post and share such graphic photos of accident victims has spiralled out of control with little to no consideration and respect for the victim and their families, and this must stop," APC Matavou said.

He said a directive was issued to the divisional police commander east to look into the conduct of members of the public at the accident scene.

He said people entering cordoned off police areas were interfering with investigations which became "an immediate breach of the law".

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