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Police pay £2,500 damages to street preacher

September 2019

Street Preacher Olu SOURCE Christian Concern
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Christian street preacher Olu has been offered £2,500 in damages from the Metropolitan Police in relation to his false arrest and unlawful detention in February this year.

The 64-year-old man had been preaching outside Southgate Underground station. A member of the public, Mrs Ambrosine Shitrit, saw a tall, hooded man squaring up to Olu. Thinking the preacher was about to be assaulted, she pulled over and started filming with her phone.

Two police officers arrived shortly in response to a 999 call claiming the preacher had been ‘Islamophobic’. The hooded man, who had identified himself as a Muslim, left the immediate vicinity and the police began asking the preacher to leave the area for supposedly ‘breaching the peace’.

The video showed Olu explaining his freedom to continue preaching, but the officers arrested him and ripped his Bible from his hands.

Following news of the £2,500 damages, Olu handed in a petition, signed by over 40,000 people, calling for the government, the police and London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to do more to protect Christian street preachers and freedom of speech on our streets. The Christian Legal Centre assisted the preacher throughout the case.

In June 2018, Avon and Somerset Police wrongly issued a dispersal order to Dale McAlpine and a group of street preachers, threatening them with arrest for preaching in Bath. But following help from The Christian Institute, Avon and Somerset Police issued an apology.