GMP has passed the case higher up to the Home Office. Credit: via Greater Manchester Police

Savills refers racist tweet probe to police

Julia Hatmaker

The global real estate company said it has suspended the employee in question pending investigation and that the individual claimed his Twitter account had been hacked.

Greater Manchester Police said the matter was being sent to the United Kingdom Football Policing Unit, part of the Home Office. It may be referred back to GMP, however, if further investigation is required.

GMP confirmed to Place North West that it had received complaints about the post, which was made in the aftermath of the Euro 2020 final. The tweet came from the @bone_andrew Twitter account, which, according to Savills, is connected to an employee. Savills has an employee of the same name at its Manchester offices.

The post used a racial slur to describe England players. Savills said the employee in question claimed his account had been taken over by a third party, which had sent out the tweet.

Both the @bone_andrew Twitter account and the individual’s Linkedin profile have since been deleted. Savills also said it has a zero-tolerance policy on racial abuse.

The company issued a statement regarding the matter, and shared it on Twitter. The statement said in full: “Savills confirms that the staff member connected with the racist comments placed on Twitter claims that his account was taken over by a third party and that the matter is being referred to the Greater Manchester Police.

“Savills has acted swiftly and confirms that the individual is suspended from duty pending the findings of this investigation, which is being progressed as a priority. Savills has a policy of zero tolerance on any form of racial abuse or discrimination.”

On Monday, home secretary Priti Patel called out social media companies for not policing the content on their platforms.

“They can no longer ignore some of the appalling, vile, racist, violent and hateful content that appears on their platforms,” she told the House of Commons. “We have been clear that if they do not stamp this out, we will take action against them in the Online Safety Bill.”

Patel continued:”The thuggish behaviour we saw [on 11 July] was utterly disgusting and there is no place in our society for it. These people have no right to be called fans, and they will face serious consequences for their actions.”

In addition to tweets using racial slurs, other incidents of hate included the defacing of the Marcus Rashford mural in Withington. Residents spent 12 July covering the hate speech with words of kindness and support for the England player.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Football Association issued Twitter statements condemning racist attacks against the England team.

Johnson wrote: “Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.”

The FA said: “We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team.”

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