Anger over Merseyside Police Twitter rape joke

One Twitter user said: 'This is exactly what women don't need from their police force'

Doug Bolton
Sunday 01 November 2015 18:44
Mounted Merseyside Police officers patrol outside Goodison Park
Mounted Merseyside Police officers patrol outside Goodison Park

Merseyside Police have come under fire online after a rape joke was posted on their official Twitter account.

On Sunday afternoon, following Sunderland FC's 6-2 loss to Everton, one Twitter user sent a tweet to Merseyside Police which said: "Hello. I'd like to report an incident of rape that occurred at Goodison Park, Liverpool, on November 1st at 3:00."

The official Merseyside Police account responded 20 minutes later, saying: "Just confirm there was no actual rape for me? Sunderland certainly got caught with their pants down though."

Later, when the original user confirmed that they were making a rape joke, the police account replied again, saying: "Thanks for clearing that up! Great performance by all accounts, I've been too busy to watch though."

Then, a few minutes later, another Twitter user tweeted Merseyside Police, saying: "I'd like to report an incident that has been going on for ages. Chelsea get raped every match, can you help?"

Merseyside Police immediately responded, saying: "Afraid not, it's not a criminal offence to lose week in week out."

Many Twitter users replied to the tweets, accusing the police force of joking about rape.

One user wrote: "This is exactly what women don't need from their police force. Joining in the rape bants."

Others called it "incredibly crass", with one woman writing: "How are we meant to feel comfortable with our police service when this is the vitriol they tweet?"

Almost two hours after the third tweet was sent, all three were deleted, and Merseyside Police posted a series of apologetic messages.

They said: "We would like to apologise for any offence caused by inappropriate tweets from the force account this afternoon. They do not reflect the strenuous efforts made by Merseyside Police to investigate serious sexual crimes and protect victims."

"An full investigation has been launched into the inappropriate use of the Merseyside Police Twitter account."

A spokesman for Merseyside Police declined to comment, but said the force was looking in to the matter.

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