Warnings about 'homeless pair' attacking people are fake

5 August 2022
What was claimed

Two people in Newry go around claiming to be homeless, seeking help, and then they attack you.

Our verdict

There have been no reliable reports of people being attacked in this way in Newry. The two photos attached to the post appear to be unrelated and to have been taken outside Northern Ireland, and are of two people in different locations. One of the photos is at least four years old.

A Facebook post warns that two people in Newry, Northern Ireland, are pretending to be homeless before attacking members of the public, and claims that they stabbed a woman. This is not true.

The post states: “Everyone in Newry is being warned to be alert and vigilant. These 2 go around claiming to be homeless, seeking help, then they attack you. They are on the run and they are very dangerous. They attacked a 34 year old single mom with a knife 4 days ago leaving her struggling for her life. If you see them please report to the police and be careful.”

This is fake. Full Fact could find no reports of a stabbing in Newry involving a 34-year-old woman in recent weeks, and we’ve contacted the local Police Service of Northern Ireland station to confirm this is the case.

Full Fact used Google reverse image search to identify the photos, which appear to be unrelated to the claims. One of the photos appears to have been taken in England, and the other in New Zealand, with the latter at least four years old. 

Other similarly worded posts warning of criminals pretending to be homeless before attacking people have been shared widely on Facebook.

Image courtesy of Brett Jordan

Update 5 August 2022

This article has been updated with further information about the photos attached to the post.

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