Greater Manchester Police has confirmed the launch of an investigation into the racist comments sent to a number of Manchester United players over social media.
The force confirmed the intervention in an official statement released yesterday.
It comes as after a number of prominent Premier League players revealed that they have received racist abuse in the past seven days, with Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial having all been targeted, alongside Romaine Sawyers of West Bromwich Albion, and Chelsea’s Reece James.
Greater Manchester Police confirmed it was aware of a number of incidents having occurred on social media between Wednesday 27th – Saturday 30th January.
The statement read: “We are aware of a number of Manchester United football players suffering abuse on social media accounts between [Wednesday and Saturday]. Nobody should be subject to such abuse and it is deeply upsetting not only to those who suffer it, but to all those who come across this awful language too.
“These hateful words have no place anywhere in our society whether online or otherwise.
“A number of these comments have been reported to us and we are liaising with those involved to provide support and we will be investigating these crimes thoroughly.”
In a series of tweets on Saturday night, 22-year-old Wythenshawe-born Manchester United and England star Marcus Rashford – who was last year awarded an MBE for his ongoing work fighting child food poverty – revealed that he had been the target of racial abuse, but had chosen not to share its contents.
They were sent to the England striker following Manchester United’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal, and the striker responded describing the comments as “humanity and social media at its worst”.
He continued: “Yes I’m a black man and I live every day proud that I am.
“No one, or no one comment, is going to make me feel any different, so sorry if you were looking for a strong reaction, you’re just simply not going to get it here”.
In a follow-up tweet, Rashford stated that he would not be posting / linking to examples of the racial abuse he had received, adding that: “It would be irresponsible to do so and as you can imagine there’s nothing original in them”.
He continued: “I have beautiful children of all colours following me and they don’t need to read it. Beautiful colours that should only be celebrated”.
The official statement issued by Greater Manchester Police joins statements released by several other authorities and governing bodies, including the FA (Football Association), which had reiterated its commitment to clamping down on discrimination of all kinds earlier on Saturday.
An FA statement read: “We are united with all of football in our abhorrence of any racist abuse,
“This is not acceptable in any part of society.
“We will continue to work with the rest of the game, the government and social media platforms to remove this – and all elements of – discrimination from our sport.”
Earlier in the week, Manchester United released an official statement addressing racial abuse received by players following a Premier League fixture against Sheffield United on Wednesday 27th January, which read: “Everyone at Manchester United is disgusted by the racial abuse received by players via social media after last night’s game.
“We utterly condemn it and it is encouraging to see other fans condemn this on social media also.
“Manchester United has zero tolerance of any form of racism or discrimination and a long-standing commitment to campaigning against it through our All Red All Equal initiative.
“Identifying these anonymous mindless idiots remains problematic.
“We urge social media platforms and regulatory authorities to strengthen measures to prevent this kind of behaviour.“
Addressing the recent incidents, a spokesperson for Facebook – which also owns Instagram – said: “There is no place for racism on Facebook and Instagram and we are committed to removing it when we find it. We know there is more to do and we will continue to work closely with clubs, players and football authorities to investigate instances of discrimination and collectively tackle this issue.”
A statement released by Twitter read: “Racist behaviour has no place on our service and when we identify accounts that violate any of the Twitter Rules, we take enforcement action.
“We have proactively engaged and continue to collaborate with our valued partners in football to identify ways to tackle this issue collectively and will continue to play our part in curbing this unacceptable behaviour – both online and offline.”
The incidents also come after it was confirmed that the UK government last week held a meeting with several leading black figures within the game to discuss the problem of online abuse, and they are expected to present a new online harms bill before parliament this year.
The government says this bill will “require tech firms to take action so that what is unacceptable in the street and in stands is unacceptable online too”.
Police search for Moors murder victim Keith Bennett resumes as ‘skull is found’
Police are back searching for Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett after a skull was reportedly found.
12-year-old Keith was snatched by notorious serial killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in 1964.
The pair’s victims were five children, Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, all aged between 10 and 17 years old at the time of their murder.
The victims were buried on Saddleworth Moor, but Keith’s remains have never been found.
Now a major breakthrough may have come from an author, Russell Edwards, who alerted police to ‘potential human remains in a remote location’.
Specialist GMP officers have now begun initial exploration activity but say it is ‘far too early’ to confirm if human remains have been discovered.
Officers have also updated Keith’s brother Alan Bennett, who was just eight years old when his sibling vanished and who has dedicated much of his life to solving the mystery of the missing body.
MP Force Review Officer Martin Bottomley said: “At around 11.25am on Thursday 29 September 2022, Greater Manchester Police was contacted by the representative of an author who has been researching the murder of Keith Bennett, a victim of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.
“Following direct contact with the author, we were informed that he had discovered what he believes are potential human remains in a remote location on the Moors and he agreed to meet with officers yesterday afternoon to elaborate on his find and direct us to a site of interest.
“The site was assessed late last night and, this morning, specialist officers have begun initial exploration activity. We are in the very early stages of assessing the information which has been brought to our attention but have made the decision to act on it in line with a normal response to a report of this kind.
“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been discovered and this is expected to take some time.
“We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family. As such, we have informed his brother of the potential development – he does not wish to be contacted at this time and asks that his privacy is respected.”
A further GMP statement published by the Manchester Evening Newsadded: “We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family.
“Officers met with Mr Edwards yesterday evening (29th September) and he was able to locate a site of interest and provide us with further details of the work he has been carrying out.
“We are at the very early stages of assessing the evidence which he brought to our attention, but have taken the decision to excavate an area of land with a view to determining what lies there.
“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been uncovered, but out of respect for Alan Bennett, who we regularly maintain contact with, we have informed him of this potential development.
“Alan does not wish to be disturbed at this time and we would ask that his request for privacy is respected.”
Featured image: GMP
Question Time audience stunned as first-time buyer says mortgage quote DOUBLED
Thursday night’s Question Time audience could be heard audibly gasping after a fellow crowd member revealed that her mortgage quote had doubled followed the recent mini-budget.
Taping in Manchester on 29 September, the current events and politics programme was discussing property when would-be first-time buyer Rabia revealed that her mortgage offer had jumped from an initial amount of 4.5% interest to a shocking 10.5% in just a matter of days.
As you can see in the incredible clip, both the audience and the panel are taken aback at the revelation.
The Greater Manchester resident said she is desperate to know what the government’s plan for mortgages is as following the latest revision, she says she simply cannot afford to put the money down on her first home.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed in on the social media reaction, quote tweeting the clip from his party’s own account and stating that “the Tories must get back to Parliament and reverse their kamikaze budget” as the current economic mess is being “paid for by working people”.
To make matters worse, Rabia was given no clarification from her lenders, only that they were pulling her offers. Conservative MP and Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities, Paul Scully had little information to offer her either, simply stating it is a short-term effect and that the market will stabilise.
Scully was subject to an entirely different reaction from the audience as well after his blind attempts to defend Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were met with laughter. Conversely, Richard Bacon was met with applause after he labelled the mini-budget “absurd”.
As if the anti-Tory sentiment wasn’t already at a high, the chancellor’s mini-budget – which saw the corporations, bankers and the generally wealthy benefit ahead of the working class – has seen fresh calls for a general election to be held as soon as possible.
Beyond declaring a so-called £2,500 limit on energy bills (which many have warned isn’t a guaranteed cap), there was seemingly very little in the way of policy that
For those still unclear as to what was announced in the divisive mini-budget, here is a quick summary:
Speaking in a speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Starmer said that the government “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure.