Stoke & Staffordshire

Stan Collymore: Police investigate racist Twitter claim

Stan Collymore
Image caption Stan Collymore complained to Staffordshire Police about alleged racist tweets

Former footballer Stan Collymore has received "a number" of racist messages on Twitter, Staffordshire Police said.

The former Southend, Nottingham Forest, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Leicester striker contacted the force on Monday about "offensive" messages directed towards him.

A police spokesman said they had secured copies of the tweets and were investigating.

Ch Insp Carl Ratcliffe said the force would take action if appropriate.

Mr Collymore, 42, originally from Cannock, Staffordshire, now works as a broadcaster.

Writing on Twitter, he said: "Appreciate the support from players, fans of all clubs and @kickitout. Currently with @CannockPolice."

He added he was taking legal advice about social media sites "not enforcing hate speech rules" and said he was concerned Twitter had become a "free for all".

Twitter said it did not comment on individual accounts "for user privacy reasons".

Anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out said it had been monitoring the tweets and had made a separate complaint to the police.

A spokesman said: "The campaign closely monitors Twitter via its official account at all times and informs True Vision, an online reporting facility run by the police, of football-related hate crime witnessed on social media platforms.

"Kick It Out extends its support to Stan, and urges fellow social media users to assist in bringing this type of abuse to the attention of the authorities by reporting directly to True Vision."

In a separate incident in 2012, Mr Collymore was the target of racially abusive tweets from a law student.

Joshua Cryer, 21, of Jesmond, Newcastle, was given a two-year community order by a judge.

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