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Police swoop on student actors wearing balaclavas and brandishing gun at take away

A passerby raised the alarm.

Image: Shutterstock/Antonio Gravante

STUDENTS FILMING A scene of an armed robbery were mistaken for the real deal in Derry yesterday.

The police were called by a passerby who reported an armed robbery at a take away.

Police arrived on the scene within six minutes of getting the call. Chief Inspector Catherine Magee said:

Attending officers witnessed a man wearing a balaclava and brandishing a handgun inside the premises. Officers approached and the man was ordered to put the weapon on the ground.

“It subsequently transpired that the scenario had been staged by some local students and the situation was quickly de-escalated.”

The Ulster University students’ union described the incident as an ‘unfortunate misunderstanding’.

It happened at around 9am yesterday morning at a take away on The Promenade in Portstewart.

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Speaking on BBC Radio Foyle’s News at One programme  the president of the Coleraine campus students’ union, Mark Bell, said the students had sought permission from Coleraine Borough Council and from the restaurant where they were filming.

The students in question are traumatised from the incident and are trying to get on and complete this media project.

Magee added, “I have been in touch with the university today and hope to have an informal chat with some of the students involved later this week.”

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