Not only are AAP not including mugshots  in their stories, they’re also leaving out vital bits of identifying information.
Police are warning the public to stay away from four prisoners on the run after escaping from a Parramatta jail.
John Harris, 18, and three 19-year-olds named Ricky Kincheila, Isaac Haines and Jay Williams are described as being of Aboriginal appearance, while Harris has the name ‘Lauren’ tattooed on the left side of his chest.
So anyone reading or hearing an AAP based report of this story is left guessing as to what most of the escapees look like, and can only identify one of them if he isn’t wearing a shirt…great!
Effectively the message AAP are spreading here is “beware of teenage Aboriginal people”.
The New South Wales Police press release  is much more helpful, but it’s sad that people have to dig for the information which the Police have released in an effort to protect the public:
*** Editor’s note: Images of the four men are available by contacting the Police Media Unit on (02) 8263 6100. ***
The first escaped man is 18-year-old John Harris who is described as being of Aboriginal appearance, with a dark complexion. He is approximately 180cm tall, thin build and brown eyes. He also has a tattoo of the name “Lauren” across his chest.
The second man is 19-year-old Ricky Kincheila who is described as being of Aboriginal appearance, with a light complexion. He is approximately 178cm tall and of medium build. He has brown hair, brown eyes and a beard and moustache.
The third man is 19-year-old Issac Haines who is described as being of Aboriginal appearance, with a light tanned complexion. He is approximately 190cm tall with a thin build. He has black hair and brown eyes.
The fourth man is 19-year-old Jay Williams who is described as being of Aboriginal appearance. He is approximately 175cm tall, medium build with black hair and brown eyes.
AAP, I know that lengthy descriptions don’t make for exciting copy, but some things are more important than that. This is one of them.