A police force has been flooded with sexist remarks about a young female recruit whose picture was posted on their Facebook page.
As part of an advertising campaign to recruit new officers, Surrey Police Department posted a picture of recent police academy graduate Claire Binksy, according to Daily Mail.
“It’s 10pm and our night turn are starting their shift keeping Surrey safe through until morning,” the caption for the July 18 post reads.
But what was meant to be an innocent photo quickly attracted a number of sexist and objectifying comments.
“Now if only all cops looked like her…” one person wrote.
“She can take down my particulars any time,” read another comment.
Countless other comments focused on her appearance, with many writing how they would “tap that.”
All potentially offensive comments have since been deleted by the page’s administrator. A spokesperson responded within the comment section 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 person questioned why the police department would choose to use a photo of Binksy in the first place, accusing the department of posting 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? 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, saying the department asked recent recruits for photos of themselves on the job. The ad campaign is meant 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 this 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 Daily Mail.
“This kind of behavior is completely inappropriate and just reflects the immaturity of those posting.”