Ever heard the saying “it’s just Twitter” implying that anything said on the social network won’t have an affect in the real world? Well think again, because 140 characters could just land you in jail.

Police are launching an investigation into the racial abuse that one tweeter, @Lapwanage (whose account has now been deleted) tweeted to Ashley Young and Ashley Cole on Sunday night after they missed penalties against Italy, leading to England’s Euro 2012 defeat. .

After a heavy backlash from his Twitter followers @Lapwnage went on to say “All I got to say is this was just a joke, you guys need to relax, police know I was kiddin around and they won’t bother me hopefully, cheers.”

However the Metropolitan Police have not taken lightly to this so called ‘joke’ and a WestMidlands Police Twitter account replied with

Wrong. Your comments may constitute a public order offence. We have advised complainants how to officially report this to police.

While on Monday a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said

We are aware of alleged racist comments on Twitter following last night’s England game and have launched an investigation… The allegation was made to MPS on June 25 by a member of the public relating to comments on a Twitter account supposedly based in London.

There have been no arrests at this early stage and the MPS is examining possible offences under Section 18/19 Public Order Act 1986.

The investigation continues.