A TEENAGER who gives up his weekends to help wash police cars has been branded a “gimp”, “nonce” and “grass” by vile trolls.
Police in St Austell, Cornwall, posted a snap of the unnamed youngster, thought to be aged about 13, in which they called him a “legend”.
But the well-intentioned post on Saturday sparked a flood of abuse from social media users.
@Therebel882 wrote: “Trainee grass”.
The lad was braned a “snitch” by @lewruss__.
Another user, @Flynny__, called the boy a “wee nonce”.
@ShogunCharlie called him “Billy no mates”.
According to @OvertonOfficial, the “lad is either a snitch or he’s bribing the police… shame on him.”
And @Craigmcbeathh wrote: “Hahahahahahahah f*****g wimpy gimp.”
Other social media users then castigated the trolls.
@Pearce12Phil wrote: “I guess when you see people doing positive things, it makes you realise the poor choices you made and the chances you lost. Now here you are, abusing a kid on twitter.”
@Andy4msf told one troll: “You are clearly an educated and complex individual. Kind regards to you. Take care.”
Another user, @dripcode, told a troll: “Judging by your profile pic you can’t fight so if five people ran into your house and threatened your family, you’d call the police.
“So, don’t call him a snitch because he’s doing something good. Matter fact don’t call the police if there’s a terrorist attack cause its snitching.”
In their original post, police wrote: “This lad is a legend. He comes in every weekend in his own time and helps wash the police cars. He is such a nice lad. Can we all give him a massive thumbs up.”
Among those to praise him was Superintendent for East Cornwall, Sharon Donald, who wrote: “Brilliant…tell me more about this young man so I can thank him in person.”
Concern about online bullying has reached such levels that the government is considering giving media regulator Ofcom greater powers to crack down on trolls.
The tragic death of Caroline Flack, who was relentlessly trolled following her arrest, has added to the concern.
But many non-celebrities also find themselves the targets of online abuse, sometimes with tragic consequences.
Felix Alexander’s death, aged 17, in 2016 helped prompt the Duke of Cambridge to launch a code of conduct for young people to combat cyber bullying the following year.
Felix, from Worcester, took his own life after he was bullied on social media. His mother, Lucy, said the abuse “ate away at him inside”.