A police appeal in the UK for information about a criminal suspect has been hijacked by Twitter users who mocked the cctv image that was provided.
Kent Police detectives are investigating an alleged assault on a woman near the town of Maidstone. The incident took place in Bow Road, Wateringbury, at around 10:40 p.m. on Tuesday.
According to police, the woman was walking from Tonbridge Road towards Wateringbury railway station when a man approached her from behind and assaulted her, causing her to fall to the ground. The victim was able to defend himself against her and she screamed before running from the scene.
Detectives investigating the assault have released a CCTV image of the suspect as part of an appeal posted on Twitter. Tweeting the image, Kent Police asked followers: “Do you know him?”
Unfortunately, the low quality of the image offered few clues as to the man’s identity and soon sparked a deluge of responses, with users mocking the police’s decision to post the image.
“What a ghostly white figure,” wrote one user. Another user commented: “Is that my great grandmother?”
A third stated, “It’s Casper,” a reference to the famous friendly ghost, while another user simply responded with a GiF of a ghost from Scooby Doo.
“Video footage here if you can’t identify it in the still,” the user wrote alongside the clip of the animated appearance.
Elsewhere, one Twitter user couldn’t resist breaking into a sing-along with the comment, “Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” and said that the man “looks as white as a ghost if anything”.
Far from the mockery, some were unimpressed by the fact that nothing identifiable about the suspect was caught on camera.
“Who will be able to recognize them if they know them by that image?” Wrote one user. “How can CCTV footage still be of such poor quality?”.
Another Twitter user responded to the call by suggesting some alternate sources for authorities to find clearer images of the suspect.
“Train/bus (if used) CCTV might have a better picture of a person who could match that: tall and thin dressed all in white?” said the user.
news week has contacted Kent police by email for comment.
This is not the first time that the police have ended up being the butt of a joke on social media, particularly in the US.
Twitter went into overdrive after the San Francisco Police Department announced plans to start using licensed robots to kill.
Georgia police received a similar barrage of comments after publicly mocking a man they arrested. The suspect was seen smoking weed in a Walmart parking lot.
However, some police officers have been joking. Officers in Australia helped a woman celebrate her 100th birthday by arresting her so you can cross a long-standing ambition off your wish list.