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Arrest outside Southgate Underground Station

News   •   Feb 26, 2019 12:18 GMT

Statement regarding video showing arrest outside Southgate Underground Station:

At approximately 13:55hrs on Saturday, 23 February, police received a 999 call from a member of the public who was concerned about a man's behaviour - and language - outside Southgate Underground Station.

The caller advised officers that they had heard the man making Islamophobic statements, and as a result, he had been confronted by a small number of people.

Officers attended and spoke with a second witness who supported the allegations made by the original caller.

Officers attempted to speak with the man to explain why they had been called and advised him that he should leave the area. The man refused to leave and a decision was made to arrest him in order to prevent a breach of the peace.

He was escorted from the area and once it became apparent that he would not return, he was dearrested. No further action was taken against him.

Acting Superintendent Neil Billany, from the North Area Command Unit, said: "The Met respects and upholds the rights of all individuals to practice freedom of speech, and this includes street preachers of all religions and backgrounds.

"However, if the language someone uses is perceived as being a potential hate crime, it is only right that we investigate. That is the role of the police, even if a decision is subsequently made that their actions are not criminal. In this case, it was deemed appropriate to remove the man from the area."

A complaint has been received from a third-party regarding the actions of the officers who attended, and this is being reviewed by the borough's Professional Standards Unit.