Ottawa

Being followed? Call 911 before using Facebook, councillor says

A series of disturbing incidents reported on Facebook that do not appear to have been reported to police prompted Ottawa City Councillor Jody Mitic to plan a community safety information session, he told CBC News.

Innes councillor Jody Mitic to hold info session to urge constituents to report suspicious incidents

A series of disturbing incidents reported on Facebook that do not appear to have been reported to police prompted Ottawa City Councillor Jody Mitic to plan a community safety information session, he told CBC News.

The Innes Ward councillor was a guest on All In A Day Monday.

On mobile? Listen to Jody Mitic here.

“The one that really set off my alarm bells was a story about a woman who was followed home from her bus stop by a guy who was very aggressive and got in her face. Reading it I was getting nervous for her,” Mitic said. “I was waiting for the part that said, ‘Then I dialed 911,’ or ‘Then I slammed my front door and called 911,’ or something. And that never happened.”

Mitic said he saw the post on the Blackburn Hamlet Community Association Facebook page, which is a closed group with 900 members. He also said parents described a suspicious car possibly following children home from school, as well as aggressive water filter systems salesmen making the rounds in the neighbourhood on the page.

“I get it. Facebook is great. It’s a good tool. A lot of people answer if you get on there and type out your story and, ah, there you feel better. And you start getting the likes and the support and the love,” he said. “The first step before that should be call the Ottawa Police Service and just file a report.”

Mitic is hosting an information session with a community police officer at the Blackburn Community Hall beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

"I love that people talk on Facebook and Twitter, and tell their neighbours," Mitic said. "But if you actually feel like your safety or your security or that of your neighbours is in danger or in question, there's nothing wrong with calling the police and just giving them a head's up."

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