Two men arrested over alleged KKK incident in Northern Ireland
The Police Service of Northern Ireland is investigating reports that a group of people dressed as Ku Klux Klan members in Newtownards, Co Down
Two men have been arrested following reports that a group of people dressed as Ku Klux Klan members and posed for photographs outside an Islamic prayer centre.
Images circulating on social media purport to show individuals dressed as members of the far-right group in a town close to Belfast last month.
The suspected incident happened in the Co Down town of Newtownards on October 27.
I’m asking anyone with info on the identity of those dressed as the KKK on Saturday evening in Newtownards to please contact PSNI on 101. The despicable photograph outside the local Islamic prayer house does not reflect the welcoming Borough of Ards and North Down #NoHateHere— Cllr Richard Smart (@ards_richard) October 29, 2018
The group is understood to have posed near an Islamic prayer house.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland launched a hate crime investigation into the matter.
On Thursday morning, two men, aged 33 and 36, were arrested.
Superintendent Brian Kee said the pair were arrested in the Newtownards area during planned searches.
He said a number of items were seized and removed for further examination,
“The 33-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of displaying written material to stir up hatred or arouse fear, and on suspicion of possession of a Class C controlled drug,” he said.
“The 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of displaying written material to stir up hatred or arouse fear.
“Both men have since been released on bail pending further enquiries.
“There are no further details at this time.”
The incident was roundly condemned by local politicians.
Last year, a pig’s head was placed outside the same centre in Newtownards.