PENKETH residents have been told police are investigating a number of personal insults made on Facebook.

The issue was highlighted during the community policing report in Penketh Parish Council’s meeting at the Pool and Community Centre, on Honiton Way, on Wednesday night.

Parish councillors and residents were told officers are investigating ‘a number of comments on particular Facebook pages’.

They were also informed that the comments are ‘not necessarily’ linked to political matters, but ‘personal insults’.

And police confirmed they are being looked at into ‘a hate element’, which officers will be ‘investigating and progressing stringently’.

Hate crime is a criminal offence which is perceived by the victim, or another person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic.

It can take many forms including a physical attack, threat of an attack and verbal abuse or insults.

Police say hate crime ‘inflicts a greater psychological distress’ on the victim than a non-bias crime and victims can suffer severe post-traumatic stress symptoms such as depression, anxiety and anger.

Cheshire Constabulary’s website adds ‘these are some of the many reasons’ that hate crime receives a different approach than other non-hate motivated requests.