Ex-footballer Stan Collymore has hit out at Twitter for "not doing enough" to combat abusive Tweets on the social networking site after he was targeted by internet trolls in a tirade last night.
Police confirmed on Tuesday night they were investigating a series of offensive messages directed at the former England striker after Collymore suggested Liverpool striker Luis Suarez cheated by diving during Saturday's 2-2 draw against Aston Villa at Anfield. Collymore retweeted some of the abuse he had received since the match to his 503,000 followers as he called on Twitter to take action.
He wrote: "In the last 24 hours I've been threatened with murder several times, demeaned on my race, and many of these accounts are still active. Why?
"I accuse Twitter directly of not doing enough to combat racist/homophobic /sexist hate messages, all of which are illegal in the UK."
He added. "Several Police forces have been fantastic. Twitter haven't. Dismayed."
The 42-year-old, who played for Liverpool, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest during his career, said that he was in contact with Staffordshire police about the abuse: "Staffordshire Police coming, again. Just the 5th time. Pity twitter aren't interested.
"Police take all complaints seriously,whoever it is. I've waited 6 weeks for twitter to provide information to Police. Yet to respond."
Broadcaster Piers Morgan was also the recipient of abuse after he backed Collymore's protest for police and Twitter to take action.
Morgan tweeted: "I repeat, racist abuse & death threats both criminal offences in UK. So keep spewing it, trolls, and I will have you ALL dealt with."
West Midlands Police confirmed on its Twitter page that Staffordshire Police were investigating "alleged abusive tweets to Stan Collymore" and urged people to block and report abuse at http://www.report-it.org.uk.
A Twitter spokeswoman said on Tuesday night the company was unable to comment on individual users, although she pointed out that targeted abuse was against its rules and the site had recently made it easier for users to report abusive messages to them.
There are "established processes" in place for working with law enforcement, the spokeswoman added.
You can read an exclusive, in-depth Sports Mole interview with Collymore here.