Police Ask Public To Not Share Unconfirmed Videos And Footage From Lindt Cafe Siege

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NSW Police have asked media – including people using social media – to not share videos or social media posts which purport to be from the siege currently unfolding in a Sydney café.

In the past hour, at least four videos have appeared on Youtube purporting to show hostages making pleas from inside the Lindt Café in Martin Place.

The videos are being taken down by Youtube almost as fast as they’re being posted, but not before being shared widely on social media.

Earlier today, Facebook posts purporting to be from people held hostage have also been published and shared widely on social media.

A spokesperson for NSW Police Media asked that people not share the information.

“We’re not contacting newsrooms and asking them not to report the videos, because (we don't need to because) it’s common sense that we don’t want this spread around,” the spokesperson said.

“The videos (and information) are unconfirmed, and sharing them does not assist police.”

The spokesperson urged people to rely on the NSW Police website, and other government websites, for confirmed updates on the unfolding situation.

The siege began at around 9.30am yesterday morning, and is still unfolding in the centre of the Sydney CBD.

Shortly before 11pm, police issued the following media statement, which urged people to seek an update in the morning if they worked in the CBD:

“Police are urging the public to go about their business as usual tomorrow.

“Officers will continue to maintain a perimeter around a cafe at the corner of Martin Place and Elizabeth streets overnight where a man is holding a number of hostages.

“Traffic and Highway Patrol police have cordoned-off parts of Hunter, Macquarie, King and Elizabeth streets.

“Elizabeth Street between Hunter and King Streets – closed to all traffic

“Elizabeth Street – northbound between Market and King Street – closed to all traffic

“Phillip Street – between King and Hunter Streets – closed to all traffic

“King Street – between Elizabeth and Phillip Streets – closed to all traffic

“Macquarie Street – between St James Road and Hunter Street – closed to all traffic

“Bus services will run according to regular schedules, although some routes will be diverted around the affected area.

“Train services will operate normally although Martin Place station remains closed.

“People intending to travel to the Sydney CBD, away from the cordoned off area, are advised to go ahead with their plans.

“Those affected by the operation are advised to contact their employers, monitor media reports and seek advice via the NSW Police website and social media platforms.”

The image below shows the current Exclusion Zone in force in the Sydney CBD. Readers should check this government website before leaving for work for updates. 

New Matilda

New Matilda is independent journalism at its finest. The site has been publishing intelligent coverage of Australian and international politics, media and culture since 2004.

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