A police force has been mocked for releasing images of four suspects in a racial assault – with their faces blurred out to protect their identities.
Derbyshire Police are hunting two males and two females after a 15-year-old boy was chased before being thrown to the ground and punched and kicked in Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire.
Police issued CCTV images of the suspects following the attack, that took place on 29 June, but deliberately removed their faces with white blobs.
The alert was quickly mocked by Facebook users after it was posted on the site.
One Facebook user, Sue Davies, said: “How ridiculous... does anyone recognise them… how can we if we can’t see them!
"Aren’t we meant to look after the victim not the criminals!”
Dale Smith posted: “Are you being serious? If they are old enough to commit crime, they are old enough to face the consequences of being identifiable in an appeal. Grow a spine Derbyshire Constabulary.
“Pampering to the pansy society that protects criminals more than victims.”
The force defended the decision to blur the faces of the suspects, claiming the images had to be “anonymised due to their age”.
A police spokesperson said: “A 15-year-old boy was chased from the Co-op to the Morrisons where he was thrown to the ground, kicked and punched to head and body and racially abused between 9.30pm and 10pm on Monday 29 June.
“Officers want to speak to the people pictured in relation to the offence.
“The images have been anonymised due to the age of those pictured, however, their clothing is distinctive and is likely to be recognised by anyone who knows them.”