News from Europe

Street preacher arrested for alleged hate speech in the UK

Street preacher Ryan Williamson from Loughbrickland was arrested for alleged hate speech, while preaching in Larne on the 10th of August. Subsequently, Mr. Wilson expressed on social media that “police probably didn’t handle this very well”, for there is video footage of Williamson preaching and his arrest circulating on social media.


Williamson was released thirty minutes later. However, the police are being harshly criticised. Williams stated to have received much support from the local community.

The police were called to the scene for alleged hate speech. Mr Wilson stated that it was really interesting to read that the police arrived with four cars, what according to him can only mean one thing: “Clearly police resources are not stretched in Larne if they can produce that number of police officers for an incident”. 

He added that the arrest is not really comprehensible since video footage proves that Williamson did in no part of his speech use ‘hate’. “But more worrying is the response from the police in the News Letter that it doesn’t have to be a criminal offence [for police involvement] – the police will investigate where they believe offensive language is being used.” 

It was reported that the police officer in charge approached Williamson ordering him to stop preaching for “hate speech” and subsequently arrested for the same. 


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