UK's first football hate crime officer turns focus on social media

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Stuart Ward of West Midlands police aims to stamp out racist abuse in grounds and online to bring back community spirit

Since starting his role as the UK’s first football hate crime officer earlier this month, PC Stuart Ward has been busier than expected, considering football fans are banned from stadiums as part of the coronavirus lockdown.

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Instead of jibes from the stands, players are now fielding more abuse on social media – just the other week, in Ward’s biggest case to date, West Midlands police arrested a man suspected of racially abusing West Bromwich Albion footballer Romaine Sawyers online.

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