FREEDOM of speech is a precious commodity. It is one of the cornerstones of democracy.

One of the reasons our country is not a dictatorship is because the public has the right to express their view and to challenge the powers that be and hold them to account.

They can march and protest, they can carry banners and disagree with any situation or decision.

This is healthy conversation and one which reins in the worst behaviour of government and corporations.

But there is a line which separates freedom of speech and abhorrent hate crime and it is vital.

The posters which have been put up in Kirby Cross are not covered by freedom of expression. They definitely come under the banner of hate crime. To insinuate any victim of rape allowed that to happen is repugnant.

So for the author behind those posters to say the victims of rape were condemned to hell for “allowing themselves to be raped” is atrocious and utterly unforgivable.

We hope the police act on this and bring the perpetrator to justice.

They either need help or they need punishment but they certainly need to be told these views are appalling and will not be accepted.

All too often nowadays we see the work of trolls issuing out their racist, defamatory and offensive bile on websites.

It is a worrying trend and one which must be arrested - both literally and figuratively.