The police said on Friday that they have suspended the WhatsApp accounts they set up to receive tip-offs about protest-related violence, just three days after announcing them to the public.

On Tuesday, police said the 10 WhatsApp numbers were for people to send them any photos, videos and information that could help them prevent and detect crime.

They said they had set the accounts up because a lot of people had been asking how they could help the force deal with the ongoing anti-government protests.

A statement released on Friday afternoon said the force had received a lot of information via the WhatsApp numbers since Tuesday, but also “there were different opinions on the hotline”.

It said it was therefore decided to suspend the service, and the force will explore other channels to collect information.

Some media reports contradicted the police’s explanation, saying WhatsApp had deleted the accounts because they violated its terms and conditions.

Several media organisations quoted WhatApp’s parent company, Facebook, as saying the platform does not allow bulk-messaging and is only for personal use, and therefore the police accounts had been removed from the system.