LONDON — Police in the United Kingdom have admitted that they drove an arrested street preacher miles away from the location where he had been speaking in order to prevent him from returning.
“As the man indicated that he wished to continue his activities at Southgate tube station, officers felt it necessary to take the man some distance from the station in order to prevent a breach of the peace at that location,” the Metropolitan Police Service in London told the outlet Premiere.
A spokesperson initially told Premiere that police merely walked the man to the nearby police station, stating that the preacher’s account of being taken to a “remote place” was “not correct.”
“The man who was arrested was walked approx. 200m away, de-arrested and shown to a nearby bus stop,” he said.
However, as journalists continued to press about the issue, eventually police stated the initial information was an “incorrect response.”
“Having walked away from Southgate tube station with officers, the man was driven approx. 3.5 miles to Hadley Wood in north London, where he was left at a bus stop,” the Metropolitan Police Service said.
“The arrest was made in order to prevent a breach of the peace, both due to reports to police about the man’s behavior and concerns for his own welfare were he to continue to engage with members of the public at the station. The man was later de-arrested,” it stated.
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