Felixstowe: Facebook ‘Lovable nutters’ group axed in hate row

A disability charity in Suffolk has hit out at a group on a social networking site for poking fun at people with learning disabilities.

The Loveable Nutters of Felixstowe was created on Facebook and described itself as “a place to discuss the nutters of Felixstowe”.

After a member of staff at Optua spotted the degrading page on the popular site, it was reported to the Suffolk Hate Crime Service.

James Powell, Optua spokesman said: “A member of our staff, who also runs a social club for people with learning disabilities in Felixstowe, first alerted us. Some people who go to this club have been targeted by this group on Facebook. We alerted the Suffolk Hate Crime service as this group is deliberately poking fun and insulting local people with learning disabilities or mental health issues.”

The page attracted more than 1,800 members but after complaints Facebook has since deleted the page.

Mr Powell added: “The group’s Facebook page make very unkind and negative comments about other people. For example, members of the group threw snowballs at a person or took their picture and then made fun at them on the site.

“Targeting and insulting someone because of their disability or health condition is classed as a hate crime and we take this very seriously, even if it’s only meant to be light-hearted.”

Most Read

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said it was reported to the force at the start of December and the page is no longer available to view.

County Councillor Judy Terry condemned the behaviour as “totally unacceptable and insensitive”.

She said: “The Suffolk Hate Crime Service will continue to work hard to raise awareness of this type of issue to ensure people understand the impact of their actions.”

Chief Inspector Kerry Pauling of Community Safety at Suffolk police encouraged people to keep online profiles private, be wary about publishing personal information and to report abusive behaviour. Anyone who wants to contact the Suffolk hate crime service should call 01473 668966.