Dear Dorset Echo Team

I would like to express my disappointment and disgust at the use of the photographic image associated with the above article published on the Echo website, 11th January. 

The method used to conceal the faces of the visitors stopped by the police presents a strong association that the visitors stopped by the police are from an African or Afro-Caribbean or Asian ethnicity. This has led to racist slurs and stereotyping by some commentators on the online article.

Given that black people are far more likely to be stopped by police in Dorset than white people, this further adds to a perception that exists that black people are more likely to break the law. (You covered this issue yourselves:

Not only is the image provocative, I find it incredible that the admin / moderators of the comments facility have not removed the racist remarks.

People have clearly perceived the visitors to be Black or Asian and have responded in a way that calls out their ethnicity, to further blame or ridicule. Please see attached pdf of the article and the comments.

These include:

Somelikeithot 11th January 05:02 pmUser ID: 209198210 Likes You’d think the BAEM population would be more worried about their welfare. They are after all at higher risk of catching Covid.

joni56 11th January 09:07 pmUser ID: 99769 4 Likes Bollywood have been using Durdle Door location for their films. Last Updated: 12 hrs ago

blobby96 11th January 10:02 pmUser ID: 308998 4 Likes Patel & son!! Last Updated: 14 hrs ago

No offence intended 13 hrs ago User ID: 1824300

So that no one misunderstands your comment and thinks you were being racist, perhaps you need to comment “Smith & son” on the stories featuring Caucasians.

Uncharted Waters 21 hrs agoUser ID: 3672665 2 Likes You may have to ‘spell it out for him’ . Regardless of the spelling mistake & calling people retards, I still have to add these people travelling so many miles, crossing through several counties under the restrictions must surely be non English?

Trevor Woolnough 11th January 10:35 pmUser ID: 2498501 2 Likes Wow, the Afro is back in fashion. Last Updated: 13 hrs ago

jmc1 11th January 10:53 pmUser ID: 174520 0 Likes Bit of a jammy picture ​[Reference the Robertson’s racist Golly brand image]
ChinastartedCOVID 11th January 11:30 pm User ID: 3668999 3 Likes All blackLast Updated: 14 hrs ago

I welcome your response and an apology for the offence and damage caused by this article and the comments that have been reviewed as “acceptable” by the moderators. It is absolutely not acceptable.

I look forward to your reply.

Kind regards

Caz Dennett

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