Police have begun an investigation into alleged death threats made on Twitter towards the Telegraph’s commodities editor, Andrew Critchlow, by Road.cc news editor John Stevenson.
Stevenson, who has worked across a number of publications, asked on Twitter: “Can someone please just have Andrew Critchlow taken out and shot? Thx.”
The threat came after Critchlow posted a controversial blog on the Telegraph website that said cyclists were equally to blame for traffic accidents as car drivers were, and has said he went on to receive further threats from other Twitter users after Stevenson’s outburst.
40-year-old Critchlow, who has raced in the past for Great Britain, then went on to contact Stevenson’s local police force over the matter, after the Road.cc journalist went onto make further provocative comments when he was approached about removing his original tweet.
The case was then passed on to the Metropolitan Police to deal with, while Stevenson has also been reported to Twitter who suspended his account.
A spokesperson for Twitter reportedly said on the matter:
“We have suspended the reported account for violating Twitter rules on posting violent threats.
“If contacted by law enforcement directly, we can work with them and provide the necessary information for their investigation of your issue.”
Critchlow, who writes columns regularly on cycling for the Telegraph, told the newspaper he was amazed that such threats could be made between journalists.
“I have reported from some of the most dangerous places in the world including Baghdad and Basra,” he said.
“Yet this is the first time in my journalistic career that I have genuinely been in fear over something I have written.
“I just hope some cycling campaigner doesn’t decide to hit me over the head with a metal bar in the next few days.
“That a fellow journalist should threaten the life of another reporter in such away is staggering.”
Road.cc have since commented on the situation, with editor Tony Farrelly saying: “The Tweets in question were made from John’s personal account which is nothing to do with road.cc so I’m rather bemused as to why the Telegraph felt the need to repeatedly mention us in their story. I would also be interested to know how the Telegraph justifies wasting police time over what is clearly not a death threat. As far as I’m aware the police have not been in touch with John over the matter.”
You can read our response to Andrew Critchlow’s controversial blog, here.