Euro 2020 racist abuse - 11 people arrested.


Police arrested 11 people in a hate crime investigation into messages posted on social media after the Euro 2020 final.

600 reports were received by the UK Football Policing Unit regarding racist comments made to England's black football players. 207 of these complaints were deemed criminal. These 123 were sent by people from overseas while 34 came directly from the UK. Police stated that people who believe they can hide behind social networks accounts should think again After they failed to score penalties at the Euro 2020 final shoot-out, a wave of racist social media abuse was directed at Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka. It was condemned by the Football Association, England manager Gareth Southgate, and the prime minister. Chief Constable Mark Roberts, National police chiefs' council Football Policing lead, stated that the investigation was moving at a rapid pace and that a lot of work went into identifying the 11 individuals arrested. Most of the arrests were for malicious communications or violating section 127 of 2003 Communications Act. This includes messages that are "grossly offending", contain a threat, or are "menacing" Malicious communications offenses carry a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment, while a violation of section 127 could result in a six-month sentence. Three men were arrested for inciting racial hate. This can lead to a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment in the worst cases. For local authorities to act, the details of the 123 foreign accounts will be sent to their respective countries. Police are still waiting for information from social media companies regarding the 50 remaining accounts. Roberts stated that there are "people out there who believe they could hide behind a Facebook profile and post such abhorrent remarks." They need to think again. We have investigators actively seeking out abusive comments related to the match. If they meet a threshold of criminality, those who post them will be arrested." He stated that the complexity of investigating social media abuse is "unpredicted" and thanked Facebook and Instagram for their prompt responses to police inquiries. Meanwhile, Bukayo Saka, the 19-year-old Arsenal forward who took England's final penalty, said he was "speechless" after his club presented him with a wall of supportive messages. "How can I say thank you for everything?" He asked. One of the incidents was when Saka was invited by a young fan to play football in the park with him and promised to let him win.

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