UK Police told to stop wasting time on Twitter disputes ‘simply because someone is offended’

Police should stop “wasting time” investigating when people are offended, a senior police chief has said.

Stephen Watson, chief constable of Greater Manchester, admitted police had been overzealous in recording trivial online spats and legitimate debate as hate incidents at the expense of tackling mainstream crimes.

“I do think that the balance has got somewhere out of kilter,” said Mr Watson, who last week revealed how his “back to basics” approach to crime-fighting had turned his failing force into the most improved in Britain.

“We’ve become too assiduous at interpreting some of the rules to mean that if anybody at any time for whatever reason is offended, there somehow needs to be a police record.