DORSET Police has issued an apology to AFC Bournemouth, one of the club’s players and Facebook after a mistake in their investigation into a report of racial abuse.

An administrative error saw police contact the wrong social media company over racist communication sent to one of the Cherries stars on March 11.

The force initially told a national media title earlier this week that a request to the technology firm for information about the account responsible for sending the messages had been rejected. However, a subsequent statement from Dorset Police confirmed this was not correct.

This Dorset Police investigation involved the second report from Cherries players regarding racist abuse this year.

A spokeswoman for the force told the Daily Echo: “Dorset Police released a statement to a media outlet on Wednesday, April 28, in relation to the two reports of racially aggravated malicious communications that were received by two AFC Bournemouth players.

“The first part of this statement remains accurate, however, it was brought to our attention by Facebook that there were inaccuracies in the second incident, which involved them.

“Having looked into this further it has been established that the report was initially sent to the wrong social media company. As a result of this administrative error Facebook would not have been in a position to be able to provide us with the data and information required.

“We would like to publicly apologise to AFC Bournemouth, their player and Facebook and we are sorry for any impact this may have caused.

“We have carried out an internal review in order to identify any learning and we will continue to liaise with Facebook regarding this matter.

“It is important to stress that Dorset Police condemns hate crime of all forms and we are committed to continuing to work with local football clubs and social media companies to investigate these offences and ensure victims are supported.”

As reported by the Daily Echo, Dorset Police launched an investigation after a report of racially aggravated malicious communications on social media on January 2.

On this probe, the force spokeswoman said: “An investigation was launched, officers liaised with the club and a number of enquiries were carried out, including a timely request being made to the social platform involved requesting details of the account involved.

“Despite further efforts to obtain the details from the social media company, we were advised on Thursday, March 25, that the information could not be provided as the relevant account had been deactivated and the data was only available to be produced for 30 days after deactivation.”

Reports about police’s administrative error over the abuse in March come as Cherries join a raft of other clubs and sporting organisations in a social media boycott.

From 3pm yesterday until 11.59pm on Monday, all Premier League and Football League clubs, as well as a host of other sporting governing bodies, have taken the decision to remain silent on their social media accounts in an effort to battle against online racism, abuse and discrimination.

Cherries head coach Jonathan Woodgate said: “Social media platforms should do a lot more. It shouldn’t just take us to do it, they should ban it. They don’t, so we have to make a stand on it so we’re supporting it 100 per cent.”