Police Slid Into Event Attendees DMs Over Satirical Event
Nearly 14,000 people have RSVPed to a Facebook event called 'Leave a poo at Gladys Berejiklian’s doorstep' -- and NSW Police are interested.
Police have allegedly slid into the DMs of people linked to the event, with one attendee claiming "satire is the latest target" of law enforcement in NSW.
The Facebook event, posted to social media last week, appears linked to the NSW Premier's recent push to heighten restrictions and obligations on music festivals.
"North Shore Police would like to discuss a planned event you are involved with at the office of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian," the message, a copy of which was sent to 10 daily, read.
"Are you please able to provide a phone number that we may contact you on."
The message then invited people to contact a North Shore police station.
10 daily can confirm the police officer named in a screenshot of the message has a Facebook profile photo featuring the NSW Police logo, and that there is an officer by that name at the North Shore Police Command.
"On a serious note -- Australian live music is at risk. Step up, attend a rally," a Facebook page called 'Good Morning To Everyone Except' posted in the event on February 13.
10 daily has contacted that page for comment.
"NSW Police Force surely you can’t stop us," the page wrote in another post on the event, on Monday night.
'Good Morning To Everyone Except' and another page titled 'The Same Question For Gladys Berejiklian Everyday' are listed as the two hosts of the event. At the time of this writing, 2800 people had responded that they were going to the event, listed for Berejiklian's electorate office in Sydney, with 11,000 responding 'interested'.
The large number seems to have attracted the attention of NSW Police, with one man -- named Michael -- claiming he was contacted directly by a person claiming to be a state police officer via Facebook Messenger.
"Satire is now the latest target for police in NSW," Michael told 10 daily on Tuesday.
"I received this unsolicited message from NSW Police after clicking attending on the satire public Facebook event and having a laugh at the premier's expense."
NSW Police would not comment directly on whether an officer had sent the message Michael claimed to have received -- but said such a tactic has been used in the past.
"Although it’s not encouraged, police officers may use social media on rare occasions to contact a person when there is no other option available," a spokesperson told 10 daily.
10 daily is aware of instances where police have messaged organisers of popular Facebook events in public spaces -- such as large parties -- to discuss details.
Police added they were "aware of the satirical nature of this event".
"However, [North Shore Police Area Command] warns any member of the public who attends the office and commits an offence, will be dealt with appropriately," the spokesperson told 10 daily.
Sniff Off, a Facebook page run by the office of NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge, posted a screenshot of a message on Monday.
Shoebridge said he thought police should be focusing on bigger issues.
"The event is so obviously a joke, and the most basic research would have made that clear. It's not a real event," he told 10 daily.
"They're not only squandering resources but now chasing down innocent people with DMs on Facebook. The police state is reaching into everyone's mobile phone."
"Someone has said they're attending a joke event. Surely police have more critical things to attend to, like domestic violence of white-collar crime. Can someone tell NSW Police this is not a real event?"