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Cops in UK ask for help finding man who kissed woman on cheek, call it a sexual assault — and flood of ridicule follows

'Giving someone a kiss on the cheek isn't a crime nor is it sexual assault'

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Derbyshire police in the United Kingdom posted an appeal on its website and social media accounts Saturday asking for help finding a man who kissed a woman on the cheek — and called it a sexual assault, BBC News reported.

What are the details?

Police said the man's kiss was in thanks to the woman — who's in her 70s — for helping him when his truck got stuck under a bridge, the outlet said.

The woman was "very distressed, especially at a time when close contact with strangers is to be avoided," police said, referring to the coronavirus, and added that the unwanted kiss fell under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, BBC News said.

"We take all allegations of this nature extremely seriously," police said, according to the outlet.

How did readers react?

The police appeal was ridiculed, BBC News said, as a Twitter commenter asked the department if it was a joke while another offered, "Giving someone a kiss on the cheek isn't a crime nor is it sexual assault."

The force later pulled the request for help from its accounts since "the post drew a significant number of comments that were counterproductive to the nature of the appeal," the outlet said.

Derbyshire police also have faced criticism for using drone footage to "lockdown shame" walkers, BBC News said. In addition, Peter Goodman, the force's chief constable, is retiring after a police watchdog probe into his personal conduct, the Daily Mail reported.

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