Media reports give fair warning to wise guy copycat criminals seeking two minutes of infamy
Your correspondent Anny Lin need not worry about the downside of media reports on crime, that too many details might inspire perverted copycat offenders (“Hong Kong bus needle incidents show media should be careful not to inspire copycat crime”, July 19).
In fact, in reporting on criminal cases, including those related to the pins and needles planted in Hong Kong bus seats, the press always mentions the penalty clause, the consequences of same or similar acts, and how society viewed past cases and those convicted. There are photos from prison, or the judicial proceedings, and accounts of prison conditions or harsh rulings are expected to act as deterrents for those inclined to replicate the act.
All copycat criminals who consider themselves wise guys are welcome to challenge the police or the long arm of the law but, if they act on their impulses, they will have failed to calculate how much they and their loved ones stand to lose from the perspective of normal freedoms and social respect.
Unshaven or hooded, in front of dozens of press cameras, as they are led away in handcuffs by police, that is not a fate anyone would look forward to. These wise guys would then end up feeling very stupid.
As for the Hong Kong bus cases, if the perpetrators have such a passion for needles, why not play at being a doctor or a tailor?
Edmond Pang, Fanling