Northumbria Police have warned that “offensive” comments on the Internet will not be tolerated, tracking down users who made “potentially criminal” posts on social media about grooming gangs.
The force launched an investigation into comments left on its Facebook page in response to articles about the Operation Shelter scandal, in which young white British girls in were groomed, sexually abused and trafficked by mostly Muslim men of South Asian descent in Newcastle.
Officers made a review of every comment on the page after a member of the public complained that a number of posts referred to the race and religion of the 18 people convicted following the operation.
ChronicleLive reports that police recorded two cases of racially aggravated public order offences among responses to the news articles on Facebook, and have now tracked down six people responsible for posts “deemed to be offensive and potentially criminal”.
Campaigners and MPs had demanded that the crimes of groomers who target white girls be treated as “racially aggravated”, urging Britain’s Attorney-General to review the Newcastle gang members’ sentences after claims that the racist nature of the crimes was not reflected in their punishment.
What Free Speech? British Police Arrest At Least 3,395 People for ‘Offensive’ Online Comments in One Year https://t.co/6sB2P99162
— Jack Montgomery ن (@JackBMontgomery) October 14, 2017