Soldier F: PSNI make ‘hate crime’ arrest after banner destroyed

The banner appeared on Lurgan High Street.
The banner appeared on Lurgan High Street.

The PSNI have arrested a man for a suspected hate crime after a banner voicing support for ‘Soldier F’ was apparently destroyed in Lurgan.

Photographs emerged on social media on Monday showing the banner, which had been flying in the main street, apparently having been pulled down and set alight.

Banners have been erected in different parts of Northern Ireland in support of army veteran ‘Soldier F’ who is is to be prosecuted for the murder of two men on Bloody Sunday in Londonderry in 1972.

Hwoever the PSNI says it has now arrested someone in relation to the apparent destruction of the Lurgan banner.

Chief Inspector Barney O’Connor said: “Police investigating an incident in the High Street area of Lurgan have arrested a man on suspicion of a number of offences.

“Police received a third-party report this afternoon, just after 12:15pm, that a banner that had been erected in the area had been removed and set alight. It’s believed this occurred sometime overnight.

“This is being treated as a sectarian hate incident at this time.

“Police arrested a 23-year-old man on suspicion of offences, including doing a provocative act, improper use of public electronic communications network; possession of a class B controlled drug and possession of a class B controlled drug with intent to supply. He has since been released on bail pending further enquiries.”

Mr O’Connor appealed for further information to call police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 732 of 27/05/19.

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.