Hoax E-mail: Closure of the 'Child Protection Units', :Cases of Kidnapping, Rape, HIV/Aids, etc
MEDIA STATEMENT BY THE OFFICE OF THE DIVISIONAL COMMISSIONER: DETECTIVE SERVICE, SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE, DIVISIONAL COMMISSIONER JOHAN DE BEER
Pretoria 24 October 2007
Hoax e-mails relating to the closure of the "Child Protection Units", cases of kidnapping, rape, HIV/Aids, etc, have been circulating since 1995. The main and only aspect which has changed over the years, is the severity of the false information. The latest hoax email (2007) contains disturbing photographs of an the body of unknown decapitated boy.
In these e-mails, persons are requested to add their name to a list and then submit it to the SA Police Service (firstname.lastname@example.org). This e-mail address does not exist within the South African Police Service (SAPS).
The South African Police Service does not have any involvement in the compilation or distribution of these hoax e-mails and distances itself from these hoax e-mails.
Thousands of these hoax e-mail lists are forwarded to various sections within the SA Police Service, especially the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit. This results in a waste of valuable time which could be utilized to attend to serious and urgent matters.
People are requested:
The protection of children is a priority area of the South African Police Service . The first Child Protection Unit (CPU) was already established in 1986 due to this.
Due to several factors, it was decided to extend the sensitive service which was provided to child victims, to adult victims of sexual offences. This led to the establishment of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS). The FCS still provides the same service to children. The Child Protection Units are transformed into Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units.
For further detail, please visit the official website of the South African Police Service (SAPS):
Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units:
SA Police Service: www.saps.gov.za.
Content of a media statement dated 16 August 2005:
PUBLIC WARNED OF HOAX EMAIL ABOUT UNIT CLOSURE
The public were warned by police on Tuesday not to heed claims in a hoax email about the closure of the Child Protection Unit.
"This email that has been doing the rounds is full of malicious intent and is completely false," said police spokesman Captain Percy Morokane.
Morokane said the unit, known since 1995 as the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS), was not going to be closed as long as the offences it dealt with were present in the country.
The email states in one sentence that police intend to close the unit and offers no explanation of this or where the information originates. It then goes on to talk about the emotive subject of infant rapes and urges the reader to "do something".
Recipients are told to add their names to the bottom of the email and pass it on to others and then email the petition to police each time the list increases by 120 names.
The police email address supplied is not a valid one.
"Anyone who receives this email is urged to delete it and not to forward it on to others," Morokane said.
He said the FCS had dedicated members who were committed to their work and known the world over for their outstanding efforts.
"We advise people not to fall into this scam.
"It is a complete hoax and if the originators of the email are traced they are liable to be prosecuted as their efforts are jeopardising police work by creating unnecessary panic."
Morokane said police time was being diverted from important work such as that done by the FCS by having to answer queries about the non-existent closure.
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