The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police has asserted that authorities need to stop ‘wasting time’ investigating people being offended on social media, noting that the public is sick of it.
Chief Constable Stephen Watson made the comments during an interview with the Telegraph.
Watson acknowledged that Greater Manchester Police had “become too assiduous at interpreting some of the rules to mean that if anybody at any time for whatever reason is offended, there somehow needs to be a police record.”
“We’ve got ourselves involved in stuff which is just not a policing matter, we’ve wasted our time as a result and we’ve caused people to question whether, frankly, we know what we’re doing,” the senior officer added.
Likely next Prime Minister Liz Truss has also vowed to put a stop to police investigating social media posts.
However, despite the College of Policing issuing guidance that officers need to focus on real crimes and not interfering in “debates on Twitter,” the practice still continues.
As we highlighted yesterday, a British Army veteran was arrested by police in Aldershot for re-posting a meme on Facebook critical of the LGBT community.
51-year-old Darren Brady was placed in handcuffs by Hampshire Police after being told he had caused someone “anxiety” online.
People in the UK are routinely arrested for posting ‘offensive’ tweets and other social media content.
Former police officer James Watts was arrested and given 20 weeks in prison for the ‘crime’ of posting offensive George Floyd memes in private WhatsApp and Facebook group chats.
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