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New laws to help police deal with cases of abuse on social website Twitter are not needed, senior officers have said. Recent examples have included offensive tweets aimed at Olympic diver Tom Daley and Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba.
Cumbria's Chief Constable Stuart Hyde, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said forces should take a "common sense" approach.
The Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, said police could not be expected to investigate every instance of abuse on Twitter.Last week Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton said she was closing down her Twitter account because of the negative comments she was receiving.
Mr Hyde, who speaks on e-crime for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said police should get involved if people's lives were being made a misery.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme he said: I think we have got quite a lot of legislation, dating back to the Malicious Communications Acts of 1998 and 2003. There is a lot there that helps us and gives us the power to do stuff.
"This is a new technology, a new way of communicating, it has grown exponentially. There hasn't been separate legislation so we are using legislation that wasn't particularly created for this but it works reasonably well most of the time