Police commissioner: World Cup tweets linking Colombia and Nigeria to cocaine and 'scam artists' were 'unwise' (From Watford Observer)
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Police commissioner: World Cup tweets linking Colombia and Nigeria to cocaine and 'scam artists' were 'unwise'
Hertfordshire’s police commissioner has described the force's Twitter campaign, which linked World Cup nations with stereotypical crimes, as "unwise".
David Lloyd said he welcomed Hertfordshire Constabulary’s attempts to raise crime prevention issues but felt tweets using Colombia and Nigeria to highlight drugs and "scam artists" were "misjudged".
The Conservative added the gaffes, which drew criticism from Twitter users, would cause him to reflect on the force’s public image.
Mr Lloyd's comments come after the police deleted Tweets posted throughout the World Cup that used countries in forthcoming matches to raise awareness of different crimes.
Yesterday the force issued an apology for the Tweets and said they had not meant to cause offence.
Mr Lloyd said: "I think they took down the Twitter posts when they felt people had been offended by what was written. Clearly they wanted to try and link into the World Cup some element of crime prevention in one way or another.
"I think they misjudged some of the reaction there might have been. That said there are clearly some issues which come out of various countries. I think it was unwise to have a campaign that clearly highlighted a nation with one specific crime type. I think others they did were more light-hearted."
Another tweet linking Boznia and Herzegovina to rural crime
The police commissioner added: "I always reflect on the way the constabulary is viewed and clearly this is something I will reflect on."
Ahead of a Colombia match the force tweeted a graphic saying: "Despite improvements in security, crime rates remain high in Colombia. Illegal armed groups and other criminal groups are heavily involved in the drugs trade.
"Columbia remains the world’s largest cocaine producer."
The messaged added that "Hertfordshire Constabulary strives to make the county a safer place to live and drugs free."
In the Nigeria graphic the force’s Twitter follower were told: "British nationals are increasing being targeted by scam artists operating in West Africa.
"The scams come in many forms (romance, friendship, business ventures, work, and employment opportunities) and can pose great financial risk to the victims."