Leeds ‘kidnap’ truck sparks outrage and online spat

The controversial image.

The controversial image.

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A LEEDS woman says she is being targeted by online trolls after exposing a controversial ‘kidnap’ bumper sticker.

The woman, who asked not to be named, took to Twitter to voice her concerns over the shocking image spotted on a pick-up truck in Leeds city centre, which features a woman bound and gagged.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, she said: “A friend of mine got in touch to say she had seen it in town when she was out with her three-year-old daughter and her husband.

“I was just absolutely disgusted and outraged. I thought it was too serious not to say something.

“Rape is a serious problem and domestic violence is not a joke, so to drive around with a woman bound and gagged is not acceptable.”

She added: “Some people are arguing that it is freedom of speech to have that on your car, but it is not speech, it is an image on a van and it contributes to a culture that attracts and normalises this kind of behaviour.

“It’s in my city and I am not OK with this kind of culture being tolerated in Leeds.”

The woman tweeted West Yorkshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, about the sticker.

She then received some abusive and threatening messages from unknown Twitter users.

She added: “Even if you disagree with the image, it is not right to threaten people.”

She added that the woman who saw the image felt too intimidated to be named herself.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said they have spoken to the owner of the pick-up truck, who has now decided to remove the image.

Chief inspector Steve Palmer, Leeds city centre commander, said: “It was clear that a number of people had found the image offensive and had been alarmed and distressed by it being displayed in public.

“The registered keeper of the vehicle was traced and spoken to by officers and made aware of the concerns raised and the potential for the continued display of the image to be treated as a public order offence.”

He added: “They have agreed to have the image removed from the vehicle.”

Update: Five arrests after Bradford to Leeds police chase crash