Here's why you shouldn't share pictures of serious incidents like car crashes on social media

Police file photo
Police file photo

Don't share pictures of serious incidents on social media - that's the latest advice from Thames Valley Police.

The force issued an appeal to members of the public not to share images if they witness a serious incident, which could include a car crash or assault.

Reasons given by the force include that, if there has been a death, the victim's family may not know and could effectively be told about the incident by the poster - and not a trained police officer or relative.

The advice further underlines the fact that, like a newspaper, a radio or TV station - anyone making a post on social media is in effect 'publishing' information - and must abide by the same rules that the media must abide by. There are also ethical considerations to consider which, in the heat of the moment some users may forget.

The tweet read: "Why we ask people not to share images & videos of incidents such as crashes on social media:
• It's disrespectful to those affected
• If there's been a death,the family of the bereaved may not have been notified
• The footage could be used as evidence in court."

Anyone who has witnessed an incident and has obtained footage which could help an investigation can call the force via 101 - or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111