Devon and Cornwall Police withdraw 'brutality' image

Image caption The image was used to highlight the success of a crime crackdown in Torbay

Police have withdrawn an anti-violence campaign image amid suggestions it depicted "police brutality".

The picture, tweeted by Devon and Cornwall Police, was pulled after users said it appeared to show a riot officer hitting someone lying on the ground.

It was taken down about an hour after it was first published on Thursday afternoon.

The force said the image was meant to show "one drunk person attacking another".

It said it had removed the original tweet after "taking on board feedback from the public."

Marc Wade tweeted: "Looks like police brutality. Did no one see this before publishing it!?!"

"This is a very odd picture to illustrate your scheme the attacker looks like a Riot police," tweeted @svenvelope.

The image had appeared as part of the force's #ru2drunk crackdown on crime in Torquay.

The pilot project involves doormen at licensed premises in Torquay town centre and Harbourside breathalysing suspected drunks.

Notable Devon and Cornwall Police social media blunders

Image copyright PA
  • A community support officer receives a final written warning after posing with weapons on Facebook
  • A sergeant is given a written warning after making remarks about senior officers on the site
  • "Management action" taken against a staff member for posting a picture on Facebook with homophobic comments
  • Officer disciplined for using Twitter in an "unprofessional manner" towards another colleague

Source: Devon and Cornwall Police

"Taking on board feedback from the public, the image used on social media to celebrate the success of the initiative was removed," the force said.

In a tweet shortly after the post was deleted, the force added: "Thanks for your comments. It's meant to show one drunk person attacking another which often happens when drinkers go overboard."

The force said they would be toughening up procedures for tweeting in the future.

"The breathalyser campaign in Torquay has been extremely successful in reducing crime in and around the town centre," it added.

"Violent crime was reduced by 45% in January compared to last year."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites