Herts Police has apologised for posting warning messages onto social networking website Twitter that highlighted crime in countries involved in the World Cup.
One of the tweets – posted at around the time of the Colombia vs Uruguay World Cup game on Saturday – warned of drug problems in Colombia.
Another of the tweets featured the Nigerian flag and said: “British nationals are increasingly being targeted by scam artists operating in West Africa.”
Spokesman Giles Cooper said: “The tweets featured information from research into crime issues for the countries involved in the World Cup.
“This tweet and the others were designed to provide crime prevention advice about issues that may affect people in Hertfordshire.”
But they soon caused offence and were later removed from Twitter.
The Twitter account @HertsPolice is managed by the corporate communication department of Herts Police, which handles its press office and PR work.
Staff from the department post all of the tweets that appear on the account.
Mr Cooper 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.”
Mr Cooper later said the advice was intended to be about issues that may affect Hertfordshire communities after research into crime issues involving countries involved in the World Cup.