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Christian politician brands anti-MP crime report figures 'shocking'

New figures revealing more than 50 complaints of crimes against MPs in the six months since the death of Labour politician Jo Cox (pictured above) have been described as "quite shocking" by a Christian MP.

Labour's Rachel Maskell, who herself received a photograph of a decapitated body, spoke after the statistics were made available by the Metropolitan Police's Parliamentary Liaison and Investigation Team (PLIT).
 
Speaking on Premier's News Hour, the representative for York Central said: "It's really quite shocking that 53 reports have come in from different forms of criminality, particularly online abuse, from members of Parliament.

"Members of Parliament are just public figures doing a duty, doing a job across their constituency and in Parliament, and then obviously being subjected to quite vile abuse at time."

Yui Mok/PA Wire

 

Some 53 reports received by the PLIT between last August and early February this year included 33 reports of malicious communications (including online trolling), 13 of theft, four of criminal damage and three of harassment.

Labour representative for Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire, Jo Cox was shot and stabbed to death days before the EU referendum by neo-Nazi Thomas Mair on 16 June.

It emerged at the end of last year that nearly £640,000 had been spent on improving security for members of Parliament in the wake of Jo Cox's death.

Precautions taken by politicians have included having their offices assessed by police and holding their surgeries in public places.

Saying more could be done to tackle abuse, Rachael Maskell also said: "Being able to trace people who abuse people online is so important in the wider societal crime environment.

"We need to call it to account and ensure that people can't just hide behind their screens, so there is a lot more to be done on that front most definitely."

Listen to Premier's Alex Williams speaking with Rachael Maskell:



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