Police abandon online race hate probe

Five men arrested on suspicion of posting race hate material online will face no further action, officers have revealed.

Raids were led by the north east counter terrorism unit in Barnsley, North Tyneside, County Durham, Merseyside, and London in April.

Five months later, the decision has been made not to continue the investigation.

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A spokeswoman for the unit said: “Officers carried out a full and thorough investigation into posts made on social networking sites.

“Five men were arrested on suspicion of publishing or distributing written material which may stir up racial hatred.

“Following liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service, it was decided that no further action should be taken.”

The arrests were linked to a splinter group of the English Defence League known as the North West Infidels.

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At the time, a message posted on the group’s Facebook page said: “Heads up if you have posted any thing you might get in trouble for delete it now ... while you still can ... and don’t post anything considered racist folks you are responsible for your own actions.”

Elsewhere on the page, a lengthy message posed the question: “Who are the Infidels of Britain?”.

It said the group was an alliance of “right-wing nationalists, patriotic and loyalist groups from different parts of the UK”.

Computers and phones were seized in the dawn raids which followed reports that racist comments had been posted on the internet.

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The men arrested were a 43-year-old from North Tyneside, a 46-year-old from County Durham, an 18-year-old from Birkenhead, Merseyside, a 21-year-old from Barnsley and a 56-year-old from Holloway in north London.

Addresses in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, and Leeds were also searched.