Police called to false reports of a teen knife attacker in Perth are warning people to beware reposting unverified information online.
On Saturday 9 January a report of a teenage boy wielding a knife and “attacking random people” near the South Inch was shared widely on a number of social media platforms, including Facebook and Snapchat.
The incident was said to have taken place at railway tunnels between the South Inch and Glenearn Road, and the post was labelled “boy running about Craigie with a knife, watch out he’s attacking random people”.
This comes after police officers ramped up patrols of the South Inch and other areas of the city centre as part of Operation Stung.
The operation was sparked by a spate of youth antisocial behaviour during lockdown, including teens drinking alcohol, shouting at passers-by, arming themselves with weapons and congregating on the railway tracks.
However, after the content was shared online on Saturday evening, police descended on the scene but found no trace of any wrongdoing.
Officers are now urging people to think carefully about what is posted online and to be aware of the dangers of posting unverified content on their social media channels.
A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “At around 8.50pm on Saturday January 9 a report was made to police about a man brandishing a weapon in the Craigie area of Perth.
“Officers searched the area but found no trace.
“The origin was a post on social media and the source was advised on reposting unverified or incorrect content as someone has seen that and reported it to the police.”
The spokeswoman added: “People must take extreme care when posting or reposting unverified information.
“Hoax or unverified calls can divert emergency services away from genuine emergencies.
“We would encourage the public to remain vigilant and to report concerns over genuine criminality on social media to police.”