Monday 24 October 2016

Police worker leaves force after 'rape joke' outcry

Published 03/11/2015 | 13:23

The member of staff responsible for the tweets has left the force
The member of staff responsible for the tweets has left the force

A member of Merseyside Police staff has left the force after tweets appearing to joke about rape were posted on its Twitter account.

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The force deleted the messages and issued an apology, saying a full investigation had been launched into the inappropriate use of the account.

But on Monday the force confirmed the member of staff responsible had left his position.

A spokesman said: "The individual concerned left the organisation today by mutual consent. He was a member of police staff.

"He was due to leave the organisation anyway but it was decided he would leave this morning."

Read More: Police criticised for 'rape joke' on official Twitter account following Everton's victory over Sunderland

The force faced an outcry over responses to messages sent after Everton's 6-2 victory over Sunderland.

A Twitter user wrote: "Hello. I'd like to report an incident of rape that occurred at Goodison Park, Liverpool, on November 1st at 3:00."

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

Read More: Manchester Police criticised for calling misfiring Wayne Rooney a 'missing person' in Tweet

Minutes later the force responded to another Twitter user who tweeted: "I'd like to report an incident that's been going on for ages. Chelsea get raped every week, can you help?"

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

After a backlash from Twitter users the tweets were deleted nearly two hours after they were posted and an apology was issued.

Following the incident, Jo Wood, from the Merseyside Rape and Sexual Abuse centre, said: "It's really bad news. We work with victims of sexual violence across Merseyside and I have been getting messages from survivors.

"I think it's a real shame. We work closely with Merseyside Police and we've come a long way. Something like this could set us back years.

"It's completely inappropriate. It's appalling and sends out completely the wrong message.

"There needs to be some sort of training put in place. Clearly this individual is not aware of the impact of what they did."

Press Association

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