Police in south Wales have warned the public not to mock the appearance of a wanted man – or they could face a criminal investigation.
The advice came after the force used Facebook to appeal for information about Jermaine Taylor from Newport, who breached his licence conditions after being released from prison in December.
The 21-year-old’s mugshot, which was posted alongside the online appeal, shows the man with a receding hairline – which has been the subject of jokes and puns in the comment section.
In an effort to stop people mocking the man, Gwent Police warned Facebook users: “Please remember that harassing, threatening and abusing people on social media can be against the law.
“Our advice is to be as careful on social media as you would in any other form of communication.
“If you say something about someone which is grossly offensive or is of an indecent, obscene or menacing character, then you could be investigated by the police.”
The photo of Taylor has been liked more than 9,000 times, commented on 80,000 times and shared 13,000 times.
Taylor originally received a three-year sentence for being concerned in supplying cocaine after being sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court on 4 September 2017.
He has been recalled to prison for breaching his licence release conditions.
Gwent Police told Sky News: “Gwent Police would like to thank everyone who has liked, commented and shared our post over the last few days – and welcome to our new international followers!
“We’re really grateful to everyone who is assisting us in locating Jermaine Taylor, and we must admit a few of these comments have made us laugh.
“However, when the line is crossed from being funny to abusive, we do have to make sure we are responsible and remind people to be careful about what they write on social media.
“Thankfully, in the 87,000 comments, this is a very small number and the majority are doing a great job helping us day to day!”
:: If you have any information on Jermaine Taylor’s whereabouts, please call 101 quoting 1900283943 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.