Police in Sussex, England are focused on jailing people who post offensive comments about Muslims on Facebook and making sure their police cars are rainbow-colored for gay pride.
In a tweet on June 20, Sussex Police wrote, “This man used Facebook to express his hatred for muslims & has gone to prison #WeStandTogether against hate crimes.”
According to the linked news release on the Sussex Police website, tagged “justice done,” police say they placed a man in jail for “stirring up religious hatred in Facebook posts.”
The press release claims a Nigel Pelham, a 50-year-old man, was “charged with eight counts of publishing threatening written material intending to stir up religious hatred against Muslims on dates between February 24 and November 16, 2015 on his own Facebook account.”
Sussex Police Hate Crime Sergeant, Peter Allan, said, “Nigel Pelham used Facebook to express some truly offensive views, with no understanding of how serious his actions were. Many people see social media as a harmless and sometimes faceless place to air their opinions, however I hope this shows we will not tolerate this type of behaviour and will act when someone reports their concern about what someone is posting.”
“I hope the sentence handed down by the court on Friday acts as a deterrent to others and sends a reassuring message to those who may be directly targeted or are more widely affected by people’s use of social media to spread messages of fear and hate,” the statement continued.
Pelham is reportedly facing more than a year in jail.
In a tweet on June 21, the Critical Incident Inspector for the Sussex Police, Mark Evans, posted a photo unveiling the police cars decorated for gay pride:
According to the Sussex Police, it cost £750, approximately $950, to decorate the two cars using money out of the “diversity budget.”
Evans then claimed to report a response to the car, mentioning Islam and its relationship to gays, to “Twitter for investigation.”
While the Sussex police are focused on nabbing people who make bad social media posts and decorating their cars with rainbows, crime in the area is on the rise.
UK Crime Watch Stats claims the total number of violent crime offenses in March 2017, the most recent month with data, was 3,183. The number of violent crimes are up from 2,518 in February 2017. The total number of crimes in March 2017 was 13,030, up from 10,532 in February 2017. The most recent data is from March.
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