Police in Groningen have apologised for revealing on Twitter that a woman who was fined for using her mobile phone while cycling had just received unwelcome medical news.
The tweet was posted just after 11.30am on Monday, hours after the law banning phoning and texting on the move came into force. Police have been handing out €95 on-the-spot fines immediately, without any grace period.
The offending message said: ‘The first cyclist has been fined for holding a mobile phone while cycling. As well as getting a bad result from her doctor for her STI test, she got bad news from us, namely a €95 fine. Watch out, fines are being issued from today!’
Although the tweet did not contain any personal information about the cyclist, such as her age or where the fine was issued, it prompted a storm of outraged reactions from Twitter users who felt it was inappropriate.
One tweeted: ‘Either this tweet is a lie and malicious, or it’s true, in which case it’s scandalous that you plastered her explanation online given its sensitive nature. Is this standard practice?’
Around an hour later the team took down the tweet and posted a new one apologising for their ‘completely inappropriate remark’ and promising to apologise in person to the cyclist involved.
Wij plaatsten zojuist een tweet over een fietser die bekeurd werd, terwijl ze haar mobiele telefoon vasthield. We maakten daarbij een totaal misplaatste opmerking. Uiteraard hadden we deze tweet niet mogen plaatsen. We gaan direct ons excuus maken naar de betrokken fietser.
— Flexteam Groningen (@POL_flexteamGRN) July 1, 2019
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