Published: 21:01, 13 April 2021
| Updated: 21:07, 13 April 2021
Comments left by members of the public on social media after Kent Police posted an appeal for help to identify two men wanted for questioning in relation to a theft have been condemned as "offensive and unacceptable" by the police themselves.
A number of people suggested the two men were travellers and that they needed the gas cylinders which were stolen from a shop in Sutton Valence for their caravans.
Kent Police deleted a number of comments from its Facebook page and posted a warning on its Twitter account saying: "We are aware of a number of offensive and unacceptable comments that have been left in response to this witness appeal.
"Please remember to post responsibly."
The warning was issued after group Travellers Against Racism asked the force: "Why are all these comments going unchallenged? These comments only feed into the stereotypes and shouldn't be allowed to go unchecked."
Kent Police responded to say they should report any further offensive messages to Twitter and they were unable to respond to every comment.
Officers appealed to anyone who recognised the men to call an appeal line. The article attracted more than 400 comments.
In June last Year, Kent Police posted a picture of officers holding a flag in support of the Gypsy Roma Travellers history month.
They were deluged with complaints from the public, but also some messages of support for their inclusivity.
Kent Police still need help identifying the men.
Anyone with information is asked to call Kent Police on 01622 604100, quoting crime reference 46/4345/21.
You can also contact Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or by completing an online form on their website.