Police probe racist tweets

Police are assessing whether Twitter users who posted a series of antisemitic messages after the FA Cup derby between Arsenal and Tottenham should face criminal charges.

A number of offensive tweets — most referring to the Holocaust — from fans of both clubs were highlighted following the match on Saturday.

During the game coins were thrown by Spurs fans at Arsenal forward Theo Walcott, who responded by showing a “2-0” gesture to the away supporters.

After the match a tweet in the name of Dylan Dixon was published asking “how many Jews survived the gas chambers at Auschwitz?” alongside an image of Walcott’s “zero” sign.

The tweeter later issued an apology.

A tweet in the name of Reece Joy said: “Every Tottenham fan can be put back in the gas chambers and gassed to death! ” The account was later deleted.

The Metropolitan Police’s football unit said on Tuesday it was aware of the messages and an “assessment” was under way.

The Community Security Trust, which monitors antisemitism, said it had been “really struck” by the number of people who reported the tweets to the organisation, and to the police.

A spokesperson said: “The only positive is that the perpetrators received so much direct criticism that in most cases they quickly removed the tweets.”

Kick It Out also reported the tweets to police.

Last updated: 3:28pm, January 9 2014