Police in the ACT have been blasted online over a tweet shared by the verified account which “trivialises incarceration”.
The post in question was shared by ACT Policing, one of the many Twitter accounts set up by ACT Policing and is the “main account” meant for “distribution of the latest information and news”, as per the ACT Policing website.
The offending tweet includes a photo of an empty cell, with a toilet and a mattress leaning against the wall.
Accompanying the image was a caption that sparked outrage among viewers.
“A minimalist décor greets guests at one of Canberra’s most exclusive boutique residences,” it read.
“With 38 beds, the ACT Watch House is the perfect space to reflect and consider one’s path in life.”
The tweet also included the hashtags “#cellfie” and “#watchhouse”.
The post was not received well, with many people saying it was insensitive and calling upon the police to remove it.
“Whoever has the role of social media marketer here, and I mean this with all of my being, delete this account and go and find somewhere to reflect on your own life choices because this is sick, twisted and sad,” one person said in response to the tweet.
Among those who condemned the post was former politician and Olympic Gold Medallist Nova Peris, who said the tweet was “not in the slightest bit funny”.
One person said they hoped the police’s New Year’s resolution was to change their strategy for social media and suggested they “try fewer threats and more community”.
A minimalist décor greets guests at one of Canberra’s most exclusive boutique residences. With 38 beds, the ACT Watch House is the perfect space to reflect and consider one’s path in life. #cellfie #watchhouse pic.twitter.com/7fyzWvEgm7
— ACT Policing (@ACTPolicing) December 30, 2020
Another person questioned if the tweet was real.
“Psychologically this is incredibly presumptive, dismissive and damaging,” they said. “It has to be fake. Right?”
Another said the tweet was “absolutely appalling” and said whoever is behind the social media account should be held accountable.
An ACT Policing spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia the post is “part of its strategy to deter alcohol related violence during the holiday season and on New Year’s Eve.”
“The intention of the post was to encourage people to think about their decision making if a night out leads to being arrested and lodged in the Watch House.
“Police regularly attend incidents where one decision affects the victim and perpetrator for the rest of their lives.
“The posts have since been removed, as we recognised the community concerns about vulnerable Canberrans in the justice system. ACT Policing apologises to anyone who was offended by or took issue with the posts.”
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