A police department received a number of sexist comments after posting a picture of a female officer.
According to Daily Mail, the Surrey Police Department in England posted a picture of recent police academy graduate Claire Binksy on its Facebook page as part of an advertising campaign to recruit new officers.
“It’s 10pm and our night turn are starting their shift keeping Surrey safe through until morning,” the Facebook post reads.
Page administrators did not expect that the photo would attract a number of comments about Binksy’s looks.
“Now if only all cops looked like her…” one person wrote.
“She can take down my particulars any time,” another user commented.
A number of other comments focused on the officer’s appearance, with some writing that they would “tap that.”
All of the potentially offensive comments were quickly deleted by the page’s administrator. A spokesperson for the department commented on the post, asking people to be polite and respectful.
“Can we remind you to remember that every police officer you see on our social media is an individual, and a real person,” the spokesperson wrote. “Featuring on our social media doesn’t mean they are opening themselves up to being objectified, nor should they ever have to be subjected to comments based on their appearance. Please be respectful of our officers and staff and be aware of the effect an inappropriate comment can have.”
One commenter questioned why the department would choose to post a photo of Binksy in the first place, accusing the department of using a picture of a “cute girl” to garner more attention.
“You say don’t objectify her based on her appearance but is that not exactly what you guys done by using her in an add camp[aign] simply because shes hot?” the user wrote. “Why not pick a seasoned cop with years of experience instead of a cute girl who literally has about a week on the job?”
Surrey police responded to that comment, pointing out that the department asked recent recruits to take photos of themselves on the job. The department’s ad campaign is intended to appeal to the younger generation.
“We love it when older, more experienced people join us as career changers, but in reality we also know that we’re predominantly appealing to younger people at the outset of their careers,” the spokesperson responded.
The department hopes that the incident will encourage users to think before posting comments that could be considered sexist or offensive.
“As a police officer or a member of the public, featuring on social media does not mean it is acceptable for other people or the media to objectify or subject you to comments based on your gender or appearance,” a spokesperson told the Daily Mail.
“This kind of behavior is completely inappropriate and just reflects the immaturity of those posting.”