‘Vile’ painting of kidnapped woman on truck probed by police as ‘hate crime’

Police have launched an investigation after a pick-up truck was spotted with a “vile” image of a kidnapped woman on its rear. Motorists were outraged by the picture of a woman lying down while appearing to be tied up in the back of the vehicle. The truck was reported to police after being spotted at traffic lights in Trowse, Norfolk.

Norfolk Police say the matter is now being probed as a potential hate crime. A spokesperson for the force said: “A woman reported seeing a blue pick-up truck with vinyl printed on the back of the truck showing a woman being tied up, blindfolded, bound as if being kidnapped. “Enquiries are ongoing.”

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Polly Steward, from Suffolk, spray painted the truck when she spotted it two years ago in Bury St Edmunds

The picture of the truck created outrage when it was shared by graphic designer Sophia Forte on the Facebook group “Reclaim These Streets Norwich”. She said on a message with the picture: “This was spotted in Norwich.

Not okay to normalise violence against women, then people wonder why we have so many issues with it.” Miss Forte added: “I’m a graphic designer and from a designer’s perspective my job is to educate and inspire and it is sickening visually to think that someone has designed this and in my opinion, it is normalising violence, abuse, threat and control over women. “It makes me sad that someone that is a designer has abused their power to create something like this.

We need to calm people and stand up, not alarm.” Facebook users left messages condemning the image as “horrifying” and “vile”. Community campaigner Jasmine Reeves described the pick up truck as “disturbing”.

She said: “This is not okay.

I do not want to see it and attempt to explain it to my five and ten-year-old boys. It’s no wonder that women do not feel safe in this world.” The image on the pick-up truck had been spray-painted with the words, “this is not OK” by an infuriated woman who spotted the vehicle by two-years-ago.

Polly Steward and her ten-year-old daughter spotted what is believed to be the same truck in February 2019 while it was parked near her home in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. She said: “I was out with my daughter and saw the truck with this vile image on the back and was fuming. “I was right next to Claire’s Accessories and went inside to buy some pink hairspray, as I knew it would just wipe off.

“I then went out and sprayed on the back and a few days later had a letter from the police asking me to call them due to criminal damage.” Suffolk Police said in their letter that a woman had been seen carrying out “a crime of criminal damage” on the truck after getting out of a car registered in her name. She said she was not charged with any offence and was instead given “words of guidance” by an officer who promised to contact the owner of the vehicle.

Ms Steward added: “The fact it’s still driving around now makes me really angry.

It’s not okay for something like this to be on a vehicle that children will see on a daily basis.”