Nine has defended a recent story on A Current Affair in which a “social experiment” on the NSW Central Coast suggested local neighbours ignored warnings for help.
Media Watch last night highlighted the story in which audio recordings of apparent domestic abuse were played loudly from a house.
Despite the alarming sounds Superintendent John Gralton told ACA nobody one called the police.
“It was a time of evening where we would expect people to be home, generally speaking, and in the park across the road and maybe walking up and down the street.
“Yeah, we were surprised in some ways to find that no one did call.”
One local told ACA they were disappointed to hear nobody people in the community ignored the crisis.
But the local council confirmed to Media Watch immediate residents were advised in advance that there would be filming.
Media Watch said while only three neighbours were warned about the experiment another neighbour, who watched the filming from outside the house, said bystanders would not have intervened because:
“Everyone knew what was going on. [Around] 14 film crew were standing outside the house. There were cameras there and there was one police car with two police officers,” one local later advised ABC.
Nine didn’t explain why this was omitted from the story but a spokesperson told ABC, “A Current Affair believes domestic violence is an important issue. The story was filmed with the help of the NSW Police as part of their ongoing campaign to highlight this social issue. Of course, no adverse inference should be drawn about any members of the local community, some of whom have informed us that they were aware of a police presence at the house. And for this reason knew there was no need to take further action. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing on their part, but we make no apology for highlighting the point of this important experiment -the need for neighbours and friends and all the community to remain vigilant and be prepared to take action to help those suffering domestic abuse.”