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Gerry Kelly: MLA’s car clamp removal reported to police

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Media captionSinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly was filmed removing car clamp

Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly has been reported to the police for alleged criminal damage after he was filmed removing a clamp from his car.

The North Belfast MLA was recorded using what appears to be bolt cutters to remove the clamp on Friday.

His actions were criticised by unionist politicians after footage of the incident was posted on social media.

Police said they “received a report of criminal damage” in Exchange Street, Belfast, at about 14:20 GMT that day.

“It is believed that damage was caused to the wheel-clamp of a car,” the PSNI spokeswoman added.

Sinn Féin said the matter is being dealt with by Mr Kelly’s solicitor.

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Sinn Féin said Mr Kelly removed the clamp “after an early morning gym session”

The incident happened near the Metropolitan Arts Centre (MAC).

The clamp was fitted by a private company called Parking and Enforcement Agency (PEA).

Its spokesman told the Belfast Telegraph: “PEA is aware of this incident and has reported the matter to the PSNI as we do in all such cases.”

Mr Kelly is a former member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, which holds the PSNI to account.

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Footage of the incident was posted on social media

The leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) party, Jim Allister, criticised Mr Kelly on BBC Radio Ulster.

“He, who sat in the Policing Board, pontificating about law and order issues, should now think that he can take the law in to his own hands and behaved in this manner needs to be called to account.

“Not just in respect of the criminal law, in regard to criminal damage, but in respect of public representation, by being removed as a public representative.”

Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs tweeted: “Parking in a no-parking area, which reserves access for deliveries and emergencies, then damaging private property.

“What if everyone ignored yellow lines?

“Is Gerry special, above the rules that apply to you and me?”

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