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Police admit London street preacher WAS driven out of area after changing statement

Sat 09 Mar 2019
By Cara Bentley

The Met Police has told Premier it has changed its version of events following the arrest of a street preacher last month, acknowledging the preacher was not taken 200m away as originally claimed.

Oluwole Ilesanmi was preaching outside Southgate underground station when complaints were made and police came and confiscated his Bible, handcuffed him and took him away.

He was later de-arrested without charge.

Mr Ilesanmi claimed he was driven away and left without money to get home.

A video of the arrest has been seen over 2.3 million times and his case was taken up by the campaign group Christian Concern. 

 

Replying to Premier's original inquiry about where Mr Ilesanmi was taken, the Metropolitan Police disputed the claim of the preacher and said he had merely been walked 200 metres out of the area before being shown to a nearby bus stop.

Christian Concern argued he was taken 5.2 miles away to Wrotham Park.

The Met Police has now updated its statement, acknowledging that he was driven away from the area.

It said: "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 arrest was made in order to prevent a breach of the peace, both due to reports to police about the man's behaviour 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.

"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...officers checked that he had a bank card."

A petition has been launched by Christian Concern calling for the government to take action to ensure all police have training on how to deal with street preachers.

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