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Happy Herb accused shoplifters’ photos posted on Facebook

MANAGEMENT at Rockhampton business Happy Herb is not too happy at the moment.

The East Street business has been hit by shoplifters this week and is turning to Facebook to help catch the alleged thieves. Three people have already been caught on camera, with their faces now splashed on the Happy Herb Facebook page.

The Rockhampton store has posted photographs of a man and woman who are believed to have stolen from the shop.

The business is hoping their friends on Facebook will recognise the people in the photos and come forward with information.

Do you think businesses should be allowed to publish CCTV images of accused shoplifters on Facebook?

This poll ended on 08 March 2013.

Current Results

Yes

54%

No

10%

Only if the image is really clear so innocent people aren't accused

35%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Rockhampton Police Inspector Darren Somerville said the police would rather deal with the situation directly and have the CCTV images passed on to them instead of on Facebook.

"People have to be very careful that they are not accusing someone of something if they haven't done it," Insp Somerville said.

Queensland Council for Civil Liberties president Michael Cope said: "The people accused haven't even been charged. Even if they are convicted, it is a minor crime; the publicity been given could damage their reputation. These people are accused of a minor crime, it is not justifiable to put their faces on Facebook or in the public.

"They have the right to a fair trial. The police department do a similar thing as well, circulating photos of minor shoplifters and we oppose that as well.

"The reputation of the accused shouldn't be trashed.

"Under current law, there is not much people can do, there is no general right to privacy under general law. If they are actually innocent they could sue for defamation."

But this is not the first time local businesses have fought back. Last year the Tobacco Station put up a "Wall of Shame" in its shop. The wall displayed pictures of shoplifters caught on their CCTV cameras.

Happy Herb is planning to release the CCTV footage to Rockhampton police.



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