British police have been subjected to widespread derision after appearing to suggest that bumping into someone under the mistletoe without consent is rape.
“If you bump into that special someone under the mistletoe tonight, remember that without consent it is rape,” tweeted Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) — signing off with a secular “Season’s Greetings” instead of the traditional “Merry Christmas”.
PSNI, which controversially replaced the old, terror-focused Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) while Tony Blair was in office, received a huge public backlash.
Police were charged with being killjoys and social justice warriors, and trivialising genuine rape cases — but did not appear to take any notice until they were contacted by MailOnline.
The force then deleted their warning and issued a defensive clarification, but bungled it by appearing to suggest that what they really meant was that socialising without consent is rape:
“We posted a message on Twitter yesterday that some may have taken out of context but the message remains the same; when you are out socialising over the Christmas period, please remember without consent it is rape.”
Remember kids: Socialising without consent is rape. pic.twitter.com/IbKaEetVrD
— Jack Montgomery ن (@JackBMontgomery) December 4, 2017
“They go from bad to worse — is this a work experience person in charge of their Twitter feed?” commented one exasperated social media user.
“They post one tweet that was ‘taken out of context’, then do exactly the same with the second tweet. They need to hush and stop sucking the fun outta Christmas,” added another.
Police forces across the United Kingdom have been drawing public ire for their social media activities recently, through a combination of heavy-handed threats with respect to supposed “hate speech” and a number of undignified publicity stunts.
These have included having male constables pose in red high heels to raise awareness of domestic violence, or paint their fingernails to raise awareness of modern slavery.
British police appear to have adopted a very broad definition for what constitutes “hate crime”, with official guidelines indicating it can include mere “dislike” or “unfriendliness”.
Arrests for supposedly offensive online posts are up by as much as 877 per cent in some force areas — a statistic which has raised eyebrows, considering recent police statements that investigating “low-level” offences like shoplifting and vandalism as this is “not practical”, or that many constables are now releasing suspects they would otherwise arrest and “hoping for the best” due to cutbacks.
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