Police have warned Brisbane university students against staging pranks with fake dead bodies, after officers wasted hours of their time on Wednesday investigating a suspected murder.
The warning came after an Uber driver called police last night to report he had been called to a house in Sherwood, where a man tried to load what looked like a body into the boot of the Uber vehicle.
Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming said police immediately began investigating, concerned someone had been hurt, abducted or killed.
“We deployed very significant resources immediately to the scene, that included detectives from South Brisbane, scenes of crime scientific intelligence and homicide detectives,” he said.
“They’ve worked throughout the course of today.
“We located a 27-year-old male who we believe was responsible in respect of this matter. As a result of this investigation we’ve undertaken, we’ve identified in fact that this was a prank.”
Pranks create ‘boy who cries wolf’ environment: police
Superintendent Fleming said it was the second such incident in recent weeks in Brisbane, and was part of a pranking trend emerging on YouTube.
“So what I want to do is to put a message out to the community, particularly to college students and university students,” he said.
“I get that some people might see this as funny — self-evidently, we don’t.
“And it’s not that we don’t have a sense of humour, but what I’ll say is today, as a consequence of what happened last night, we’ve had very significant resources tied up, investigating whether or not we had someone who’d been abducted or been killed.
Fake blood on the floor of an apartment block garage in Sherwood heightened police concerns. (ABC News)
“I accept that on face value, it doesn’t seem like a very likely consequence that someone would put someone in a boot with an Uber driver, but when you’ve been doing policing for 30 years, you can’t rule anything out until you’re certain.
“The other thing that concerns me is we’re creating a ‘boy who cries wolf’ environment.
“Pranks like this not only tie up resources, but actually create an environment where it creates some doubt in our mind and that’s a situation that we want to avoid.”