A force spokesman said ‘We have received a number of reports from local members of the public about tweets and Facebook comments that could potentially incite racial hatred and violence.

‘These are currently being investigated. If such communications are reported to us and they do breach the law, those messages may be monitored; captured and robust police action will be considered.

‘We would urge people to consider the very real impact of their online comments in relation to this matter.’

Flatters court appearance comes after two men were arrested and released on bail for making alleged offensive comments on Twitter about the murder of Lee Rigby.