The following points, summarized from information distributed by SAPS, are crucial to know when using KomWatch or other NHW social media platforms:
1. Publishing a photograph of a person reasonably suspected to have committed an offence and who is in custody can carry a fine or a 12 month jail term
2. People have the right to a fair trial and the publication of photographs may render the trial unfair and could possibly result in acquittal
3. Publishing photos of criminals can be defeating the ends of justice as it could hamper pending investigations
4. The person arrested may be innocent
A note from SAPS - "SAPS reserves the right to stop liaising with any NHW who contravene the above mentioned laws and/or principles."
KomWatch strongly opposes the publishing of photographs of suspects for the reasons mentioned above. When using our social platforms the following guidelines should be followed:
For suspicious persons, provide a description of the individual/s (build, age, distinguishing features, shoes, clothing) but, most importantly, provide information of what activity/behaviour make them suspicious.
For suspicious vehicles, provide a description of the vehicle (make, colour, reg, any distinguishing marks/damage on vehicle), and most importantly what activity/behaviour makes the vehicle suspicious.