According to Gwent Police that is. Snarking at the hairstyle of a convicted cocaine dealer is now a crime which can lead to prosecution. At which point perhaps we should be revisiting the criminal law and deciding that snark, insult and piss taking are, as the old rhyme has it, names that can never hurt. It’s sticks and stones, actual violence, that matters:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Police have warned social media users they could face arrest if they “troll” a wanted drug dealer by mocking his distinctive hairstyle.[/perfectpullquote]
To make fun of that is to be committing a crime:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] In a statement, Gwent Police warned users against online bullying. “Please remember that harassing, threatening and abusing people on social media can be against the law,” the force said. “Our advice is to be as careful on social media as you would in any other form of communication. If you say something about someone which is grossly offensive or is of an indecent, obscene or menacing character, then you could be investigated by the police.” [/perfectpullquote]
So much so that Gwent Police, who actually posted the picture in the first place, had to censor their own Facebook post because they were aiding and abetting such mockery:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] A mugshot of Jermaine Taylor, 21, from Newport, was published by police on Facebook after he breached his licence conditions. It prompted hundreds of jokes, puns and memes among the nearly 90,000 comments left on the Gwent Police Facebook post. Police later said offensive comments could leave people facing action. People can be prosecuted for posting offensive messages online. One contributor joked that police should look in Edinburgh, which hosts the fringe festival, while another said officers were “combing the area”. [/perfectpullquote]
No, really:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]This Facebook post is no longer available. It may have been removed or the privacy settings of the post may have changed.[/perfectpullquote]
They’ve not quite grasped the population they’re ruling, have they? A law against the British taking the piss?