September 9, 2013 12.53 pm This story is over 99 months old

Police drop investigation into alleged racist comments from Lincolnshire UKIP members

Not enough evidence: Police dropped their investigation into alleged racist comments posted by Lincolnshire-based members of UKIP on social media.

Lincolnshire Police said it will not investigate any further alleged racist comments posted by Lincolnshire-based members of UKIP on social media, including their leader in Lincolnshire, Chris Pain.

No further action will be taken by the Lincolnshire Police against Mr Pain or the wider UKIP membership locally, the force said in a statement.

Earlier in May, after UKIP gained 16 councillor seats in Lincolnshire at the County Council elections, the Daily Mirror alleged Chris Pain and other local members they posted comments on Facebook, including those of a racist nature, and by doing so, have participated in activity that would cause or reinforce racial hatred.

At the time, Chris Pain, a Lincolnshire councillor for Wainfleet and Burgh, blamed the remarks on a hacker, stepping down from his role as East Midlands regional chairman of UKIP as a “gesture of goodwill”.

“In the world of increasingly technical equipment and expertise, it is always possible for false profiles to be created and information to be posted on a user’s account without their knowledge,” the force said.

“In such cases, it is very difficult for police to trace the origins of the information and to be sufficiently certain that the person alleged to be displaying some comment or information actually did so.

“Police are reliant on there being a sufficient amount of evidence, of a quality which would support a decision to prosecute anyone suspected of carrying out crimes of this nature.

“When dealing with internet based activity there has to be an audit trail which enables us to prove the person who is suspected of displaying information on the Web is actually the person pressing the computer keys.”

Detective Inspector Andy Wardell added: “This problem is exacerbated when the social network account is closed by an individual who has either become aware or is directly made aware by someone that comments have been seen and the informant is going to contact the police.

“Fictional police and CSI shows often depict investigations where information in cyber space can be traced instantly but the reality is very different.

“Therefore, if any person discovers information displayed or comments posted to social networking sites which they feel are racist ,or made with the intent of stirring up racism, they should inform the police immediately and not post responses or enter into dialect with the individual believed to have made such racist comments.

“Doing so will inevitable result in the comments being removed and the account closed making it impossible to achieve a satisfactory result with any investigation,” he added.

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