Police have apologised for posting tweets that linked World Cup countries with stereotypical crimes.

Hertfordshire Constabulary caused offence when it used a Colombia match to highlight drug crime by pointing out the country is the "world’s largest cocaine producer".

The force also received criticism when it later used a Nigeria match to warn its 21,000 Twitter followers about falling victim to West African fraudsters.

In a statement a Hertfordshire Constabulary spokesman said: "We would like to apologise to anyone who has been offended by the tweets issued by Hertfordshire Constabulary linked to the World Cup.

"Our only aim was to give crime prevention advice about issues which may affect communities in Hertfordshire, having researched crime issues for the countries involved in the tournament.

"In order to prevent any further offence we have removed the posts."

During the world cup Hertfordshire Constabulary has been posting graphics on Twitter using nations involved to highlight various crimes.

Borehamwood Times:

Another graphic produced for Bosnia and Herzegovina's match

Ahead of a Colombia it tweeted a graphic saying: "Despite improvements in security, crime rates remain high in Colombia. Illegal armed groups and other criminal groups are heavily involved in the drugs trade.

"Columbia remains the world’s largest cocaine producer."

The messaged added that "Hertfordshire Constabulary strives to make the county a safer place to live and drugs free."

In the Nigeria graphic the force’s Twitter follower were told: "British nationals are increasing being targeted by scam artists operating in West Africa.

"The scams come in many forms (romance, friendship, business ventures, work and employment opportunities) and can pose great financial risk to the victims."