A senior MP has accused police of giving the “green light” to internet trolls after a vexatious complaint made by a man online saw her subjected to a social services investigation.
Stella Creasy was then told her harasser would not face criminal sanctions because he was “entitled” to his view that her children should be taken into care, The Times reported.
The man, who used the name “Lance Jones” and had no connection with the Labour MP or her two children, disagreed with her campaigning against misogyny and her call to be allowed in the voting chamber with her breastfeeding baby.
Ms Creasy was reportedly subjected to a safeguarding review and quickly cleared, but the council is legally prevented from removing the complaint about her “anti-man” views from its record.
The troll was then referred to police, who told him to stop contacting her but reportedly said she should “expect to be challenged” because of her status as a public figure.
“The normal reaction would be utter horror at the suggestion my children should be taken away because someone disagrees with my views. Yet these police officers think I should accept it because I’m in the public eye,” Ms Creasy told the paper.
“My worry is that lots of reports are going to be made because the police see this as a reasonable way for someone to express themselves about an MP whose views they don’t like.”
Leicestershire Police said it had investigated a “number of emails” sent to the MP and gave the man a community resolution rather than a formal sanction because the messages did not meet the threshold for a criminal offence.
It said the content of the messages had “understandably caused upset and distress” to the MP and officers had spoken with the sender who admitted he was responsible and apologised.
Ms Creasy voiced her concerns about this outcome but the decision was not changed.
The force said there has been no report of further unwanted contact.
A spokesman said: “Leicestershire Police takes any report of harassment extremely seriously and will carry out a full investigation into the report and take the appropriate action.
“The force remains fully committed to keeping women and girls safe, listening to concerns and tackling violence.
A superintendent leads on the violence against women and girls agenda (VAWG) for the force and officers across force continue to work with partners to prevent and detect this crime, to provide crime prevention advice and to ensure full support is in place for victims.”