POLICE IN Northern Ireland have been forced to remove a social media post encouraging people from ethnic minorities to join the force after it was inundated with racist responses
The Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) Ballymena Facebook post was designed to promote a recruitment event with the Mid and East Antrim Inter-Ethnic Forum.
It was aimed at encouraging more people from ethnic minorities to join the force.
However, PSNI officers monitoring the campaign were dismayed to discover some were using it “as an opportunity to share hurtful and racist opinions” on social media.
"This in turn has caused unnecessary and unwarranted pain for those members of our community who took the time to come to the station to find out what a career in policing could mean for them," Ch Insp William Calderwood said.
"They have asked for the post to be removed and we respect their request."
The Policing Board described the responses to the Ballymena PSNI Facebook post as "deeply disappointing".
"As a Policing Board, we recognise the value of diversity in the PSNI and we want to make sure policing is an attractive and supported career choice for everyone in our community, particularly for people who are currently under-represented in the service," a spokesperson for the watchdog said.
Ch Insp Calderwood has confirmed police are now in the process of reviewing the comments.
Action will be taken against anyone found to have committed an offence.
"It disgusts me that people who are prepared to step forward and consider taking on the challenging, but rewarding, career that is policing should be made to feel inferior," he said.
"If you are thinking about a career in policing please do not let the attitude of a small minority stand in your way."