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Watch: Merseyside police apologise after 'rape joke' tweet

Merseyside Police have apologised after a member of staff sent a tweet that appeared to joke about rape.

It followed Sunderland's 6-2 defeat at Everton yesterday and was a response to a tweet sent by a member of the public.

A Twitter user wrote: "Hello. I'd like to report an incident of rape that occurred at Goodison Park, Liverpool, on November 1st at 3:00."

In response, Merseyside Police wrote: "Just confirm there was no actual rape for me? Sunderland certainly got caught with their pants down though."

The exchange has led to criticism from social media activists as well as groups which support victims of sexual violence.

Following an investigation, Merseyside Police confirmed this evening that the individual concerned has left the force by mutual consent. They say he was a member of police staff and not an officer.

Watch Helen Ford's full report here.

  1. Granada

Merseyside Police say sorry after 'rape joke' tweet

Merseyside Police headquarters.

A police force has apologised after it appeared to joke about rape.

Merseyside Police was criticised after responding to a tweet sent to the force's official Twitter account following Everton's 6-2 victory over Sunderland.

A Twitter user wrote: "Hello. I'd like to report an incident of rape that occurred at Goodison Park, Liverpool, on November 1st at 3:00."

In response, Merseyside Police wrote: "Just to confirm there was no actual rape for me? Sunderland certainly got caught with their pants down though."

Minutes later the force responded to another Twitter user who tweeted: "I'd like to report an incident that's been going on for ages. Chelsea get raped every week, can you help?"

Merseyside Police responded: "Afraid not, it's not a criminal offence to lose week in, week out."

Following criticism from Twitter users, the force deleted the tweets nearly two hours after they were posted and issued an apology.

Sunderland brought crashing down to earth by Everton

Sunderland were brought crashing down to earth. Credit: PA

Sunderland have been trashed by a ruthless Everton side that put six goals past them.

Hot from last week's victory over Newcastle, the Black Cats were cooled down decisively at Goodison park.

Sunderland had four chances early on, hitting the same post twice, but they just couldn't find the back of the net.

It didn't take long for Everton to capitalise on the wastefulness. In the 19th minute Deulofeu broke away from the pack and finished confidently past Pantilimon, for his first goal of the season.

Deulofeu scored the first. Credit: PA

Arouna Kone scored the second, finishing well after a one-two with Lukaku.

Kone scored the second. Credit: PA

Hope returned before half time, as Defoe controlled a long ball and finished brilliantly, surrounded by Everton defenders.

Defoe finished well. Credit: PA

Sunderland started the second half with intent.

A high cross from Coates reached Steven Fletcher, who headed the equaliser.

But the recovery was short lived. Deulofeu's outstanding pass looked destined for Lukaku, but Coates got there first to put it into his own goal.

Lukaku then scored a superb solo effort, running past a tiring Black Cats defence, and rounding the goalkeeper.

Kone score his second after an impressive team move, and he then bagged a hat-trick with a header, making it six for Everton.

The result leaves Sunderland in the relegation zone, a point and a place below Newcastle.

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Newcastle United take on Everton

Newcastle tackle the Blue side of Merseyside tonight, September 30. The Magpies are away to Everton.

It has never been an easy place to go, but things have changed. David Moyes has gone to Manchester United, Roberto Martinez, who won the cup with Wigan, is in charge at Everton. So they will be a different sort of team.

Alan Pardew, Manager, Newcastle United.