A POLICE unit set up to investigate crimes against MPs has probed more than 50 complaints since the murder of Jo Cox.
The Metropolitan Police’s parliamentary liaison and investigation team has received 33 reports of malicious communications, 13 reports of theft, three reports of harassment and four allegations of criminal damage between August and February.
Yesterday’s figures, obtained from Freedom of Information requests by the Press Association, comes amid mounting concern that MPs are facing unprecedented levels of online abuse.
About £640,000 was spent on bolstering security for MPs in the wake of the killing of Ms Cox by Britain First-supporting neonazi Thomas Mair on June 16, just over a week before the EU referendum.
Labour York Central MP Rachael Maskell said she had no idea that being an MP would open her up to such “detestable” abuse after a picture of a body with a severed head was mailed to her in the wake of her colleague’s murder.
Lib Dem chief whip Tom Brake warned MPs have become prime targets for verbal abuse on sites like Twitter, with female MPs being at most risk.
He said: “I would suspect every single member of Parliament has received this abuse. Perhaps the issue of Brexit will have been the one which will have drawn that out in recent times.
“I received a message from someone telling me: ‘You should think very carefully about how you vote for the future of your family,’ which I referred to the police.
“You just know [as a man] that for every abusive email I am going to get, women are probably going to get five times as many.”