Belfast Telegraph

PSNI outlines 'truth' over dissidents 'brake light stop claim' while helping homeless

By Jonathan Bell

The PSNI has moved to give "the truth" about what happened to an elderly homeless couple after a dissident republican group claimed they were prevented from helping them after being stopped "under the guise of a brake light failure".

The Saoradh group, posting on Facebook, described its activists coming across a homeless couple in Newry.

They claimed that when they went to get essential supplies they were stopped by the police.

When they returned they could not find the couple. After a search they said they eventually came across the elderly couple claiming they had been "forced" to move on and wander "the freezing streets".

However, the PSNI responded to "correct a few untruths".

They said they stopped the car because it was driving around the city without any lights on around the time the pubs and clubs would be letting revellers out.

"A reasonable thing to do to check the sobriety of the driver," said a sergeant.

"Turns out said car also had a brake light out.

"Prior to this coming to our attention (I should know I was in it) a district support team crew had stopped the couple sleeping rough and were making phone calls to try and get them accommodation for the night with private providers and statutory agencies.

"The couple moved after they were advised they were close to a major night club and may get unwanted attention - they were not forced to do so.

"A story loses nothing in the telling."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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