A firearms policeman with a history of controversial Twitter posts has used the social media platform to describe gang members as “animals”.
Sgt Harry Tangye was commenting on a video that compared gang members suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to troops in a warzone.
He was criticised for his views on mental health by some Twitter users.
Sgt Tangye later apologised for his “bad choice of words”.
In his original post, in which he linked to a BBC News video, the Devon and Cornwall officer wrote: “And when we haven’t kicked our armed forces in the teeth enough, we can compare their PTSD to these animals.”
He went on to add: “At some point someone has to take responsibility for their own actions. We should offer assistance but there is a limit. Assistance to these criminals should not be taken away from others more worthy.”
One Twitter user, sianalauren, said it was “disgusting” for a police officer to talk in this way about “victims of the system”.
There were several other critical posts, although the officer also received many messages in support of his remarks.
Sgt Tangye went on to apologise, and to clarify his original post, which he said was aimed at gang leaders who “ruin young lives” and whose colour was “irrelevant with regards to this”.
The firearms officer, who has more than 21,000 followers on Twitter, has caused controversy before with some of his posts.
In August he sparked a row with a tweet about drug addicts in which he said he was “fed up”, and used the hashtag “TooMuchEmpathy”.
Earlier that month he apologised for another tweet, of a film of a 140mph police chase.
The BBC has approached Devon and Cornwall Police for comment.