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Home   Gravesend   News   Article

Kent Police criticise pranksters after sparking alert by filming fake kidnapping videos in Gravesend and posting on YouTube

02 September 2014
by Thom Morris

A series of prank kidnappings filmed and posted online have been condemned by police as "thoughtless".

YouTube user Tünay Kayali has uploaded various realistic-looking films of fake abductions, including one filmed in Gravesend, over the last month.
 
The four-minute video shows two men driving around in a blue Audi, throwing a man out of the boot wrapped in tape on Rochester Road and again at the Morrisons petrol station off Coldharbour Road.
A four-minute video shows two men driving around in a blue Audi before throwing a man out of the boot

A four-minute video shows two men driving around in a blue Audi before throwing a man out of the boot

Passers-by stare in disbelief before offering to help, cutting the tape with their keys and calling police to report the kidnapping.
 
One scene sees the pair wrapping tape around the "victim's" head, ankles and wrists next to a police car at the Tollgate service station.
 
The men shout "he's got my Pokemon cards" as two police officers return from the shop, but a male officer says: "Very funny. We've seen all your pranks."
 
Scroll down for video. Warning: Explicit language
Police arrive as two men wrap tape around the 'victim’s' head, ankles and wrists

Police arrive as two men wrap tape around the 'victim’s' head, ankles and wrists

The film saw a man being thrown out of a boot wrapped in tape at Morrison's in Northfleet

The film saw a man being thrown out of a boot wrapped in tape at Morrison's in Northfleet

In the "kidnapping" at Morrisons, a man - Daniel Jarvis, known as BMWJarvo on Twitter - is seen on the phone to police.
 
The officers tell him: "We've been getting calls about people thrown out of cars with bits of tape on them.
 
"We understand from an officer earlier that it might be yourself that's doing it - some kind of filming for YouTube or something.
 
"Were you involved in one earlier on? If you do it in public, people will think its real and we've had half a dozen calls."
 
 
Video: Film of the fake kidnappings posted on YouTube. Warning - explicit language
 
Gravesham district commander Ch Insp Simon Alland said: "On this occasion we were aware of the prank and had briefed our officers and circulated a description of those involved to ensure they knew it was not an emergency.
 
"However, it caused concern and worry to members of the public who witnessed it and rightfully believed it was a realistic situation that needed emergency services.
 
"Thankfully, this sort of thoughtless activity is rare, but it does needlessly raise fear of crime and can cause those unfortunate enough to witness it great distress.
 
"It can also monopolise our phone lines, take attention away from genuine emergency incidents and waste police time."
Ch Insp Simon Alland, Gravesham district commander

Ch Insp Simon Alland, Gravesham district commander

He added: "While we wouldn't want to stop people having fun, I would advise against any pranks which cause fear, alarm or distress to others, or divert the emergency services from being available to deal with real incidents."
 
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