Na­tional crack­down on net trolls

The Mail on Sunday - - News - By Martin Beck­ford

VILE in­ter­net trolls are to be tar­geted by the first na­tional po­lice unit ded­i­cated to tack­ling on­line hate crime.

The Home Of­fice is spend­ing an ini­tial £200,000 on set­ting up the ‘hub’ in the hope that it will see more web users pros­e­cuted for tar­get­ing mi­nori­ties with abuse on so­cial me­dia.

A small team of of­fi­cers will as­sess re­ports made to po­lice web­site True Vi­sion and im­prove in­ves­ti­ga­tions by re­mov­ing the doubt over which lo­cal force is re­spon­si­ble when sus­pect and vic­tim live in dif­fer­ent ar­eas. They will also con­tact tech gi­ants to en­sure hate speech is deleted from web­sites.

Home Sec­re­tary Am­ber Rudd said last night: ‘On­line hate crime is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able. What is il­le­gal off­line is il­le­gal on­line, and those who com­mit th­ese cow­ardly crimes should be met with the full force of the law.

‘The na­tional on­line hate crime hub that we are fund­ing is an im­por­tant step to en­sure more vic­tims have the con­fi­dence to come for­ward and re­port the vile abuse to which they are be­ing sub­jected.’

Tthe move comes af­ter The Mail on Sun­day re­vealed last year that Scotland Yard was set­ting up the first unit of de­tec­tives ded­i­cated to in­ves­ti­gat­ing on­line abuse, prompt­ing fears that they could chill free speech by act­ing as a ‘thought po­lice’ for risque jokes or un­pop­u­lar views.

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