Sex offender rumour rubbished by police

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Reports of a sex offender taking pictures of children in a Whiteabbey play park have been rubbished by a local councillor and police.

On Sunday reports surfaced on social networks on the internet of a potential sex offender in the Fernagh and King’s Park area and that he had been seen taking pictures.

However, the rumours have been rubbished by both police and a local councillor.

Councillor Thomas Hogg, who represents the area, called for calm, saying: “The posts appeared on the page of the British National Party (Northern Ireland) and alleged that a man had been arrested by police on Sunday (August 4) for taking photographs of a child at King’s Park playground.

“A number of local parents contacted me to query the accuracy of these claims.

“I immediately contacted the PSNI and spoke with local neighbourhood officers as well as officers from the Public Protection Unit in Antrim regarding this incident.

“It was confirmed that PSNI officers had responded to a report of a man acting suspiciously and taking photographs of a child at King’s Park playground.

“Upon investigation it transpired that the man was known to the child and their parent.

“No complaints were made and the PSNI are not pursing this matter.”

He added: “The inaccurate reporting of this incident on Facebook is alarmist and highly irresponsible.

“Considerable anxiety and worry has been created in the area on the basis of these claims and I think this should be a warning to everyone of the danger of Facebook gossip.

“I have called on the PSNI to issue a statement that will clarify the situation and give reassurance to local residents.”

The PSNI said they dealt with a report of a man taking pictures of a teenage girl on Sunday.

They said officers spoke to the man, the girl and her family.

A spokesman said: “No offences have taken place and no complaints have been made.”