Multiple Facebook posts claim West Yorkshire Police is investigating the Covid-19 vaccine programme. This is not true.
The posts include a reference number and encourage other Facebook users to contact the force with reports of adverse reactions they suspect to have been caused by vaccination.
Video footage of a member of the public providing documents to police in Leeds has been shared by the blog The Exposé.
A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police told Full Fact: “Materials were presented to officers at two West Yorkshire Police stations in early 2022 and reference numbers were created.
“No crimes have been recorded however and no criminal enquiries are ongoing by West Yorkshire Police in respect of the vaccination programme.
“We can state categorically that West Yorkshire Police have no investigations relating to this report or any other alleged criminality relating to the vaccine program.”
Some of the photos shared on Facebook include a copy of a form supplied by West Yorkshire Police, with the crime reference number, and a filled tick box next to the option “Your crime will be investigated further”.
A force spokesperson added: “This non-crime reference number was created so the paperwork could be attached to our systems electronically and to ensure we had a record of the interaction.”
A number of the posts also claim that this reference number is linked to an “investigation” the Metropolitan Police is conducting about the same matter.
In December 2021, campaigners said they had submitted documents to police in Hammersmith, London, demanding “the vaccine rollout is stopped immediately”. A crime reference number given by the Met Police was then shared widely on social media. Since then, others have submitted documents to police stations across the country, including in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, quoting the same reference number.
While the Met Police has repeatedly stated that there is no criminal investigation into the Covid-19 vaccination programme, it has still had to assess documents submitted. A spokesperson described this process as “time consuming…prolonged by the submission of further documents by people encouraged to do so online.”
A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police told Full Fact it was aware of the report made to the Met Police which found “nothing to indicate that a crime has been committed and no criminal investigation has been launched.”
They said: “West Yorkshire Police is not recording and will not be recording any additional reports in relation to the same matter.”
People who experience adverse reactions after being vaccinated are encouraged to report them as part of the Yellow Card scheme.
Image courtesy of Mtaylor848, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.