Police are warning people that there could be repercussions to taking some videos, including of fights, on their cell phones and putting them online.
RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Tammy Douglas said it’s important for people, particularly youth, to understand that some of these videos can be reviewed as potential evidence in a criminal investigation.
Douglas made the statement after a fight between students from Cowichan Secondary School earlier this week was videotaped and put online by a number of young bystanders.
Police and school officials have been studying the videos to determine who was involved and what penalties should be meted out.
“Youth should be mindful that they could become an unwilling participant in a criminal investigation as well as contributing to online bullying,” she said.
“Ultimately, it comes down to making smart choices. At the end of the day you can be held accountable for images, videos and statements shared online. Parents are encouraged to speak to their children about the potential impact and consequences of their actions.”
In a related story, a Duncan woman has been targeted with threats for passing along a video of the incident online.
She came into the Citizen office Wednesday afternoon to say she had been received threatening messages the night before.
“The video was sent to me on Messenger. I didn’t take it. I only shared it because we like to try and help our youth, and I was wondering why no one else was sharing the video, so I did. I wanted to know if anybody knew any names, or what went on, just why it happened. From there it spread all over.
“Last night, about ten to five, this guy started messaging me, swearing at me.”
It was difficult to determine who the person was because he changed his name while sending the comments, but there is a possibility he is in the video, she said.
“He threatened me, and I was okay ignoring it until he went on and on. I have kids to worry about. I was scared. He went on and on.”
She went to the RCMP office in Duncan a little while later to report the incident, and was surprised “they didn’t take any statements, they didn’t write anything down.”
Police were, however, interested in the videos she had.
“She looked at my phone, she copies the videos. I have two different videos of two different angles. I asked: should I be worried over this guy? She said: oh no, we think we know who it is.”
That was basically all that happened there, at that time, she said, adding she would want to press charges if she knew who it was who sent the messages.