School set alight and daubed in hate spree

Western Mail - - NEWS -

A SCHOOL was set on fire and cov­ered with Nazi sym­bols in a series of hate crimes com­mit­ted over the bank hol­i­day week­end.

A Ma­sonic hall and uni­ver­sity cam­pus in New­port were also dam­aged and van­dalised in what po­lice have de­scribed as “a series of hate-crime in­ci­dents”.

The in­ci­dent came after Nazi graf­fiti ap­peared on streets in Cardiff in March.

In New­port, the Ma­sonic Hall in Lower Dock Street was set on fire overnight on Mon­day. Ex­ten­sive dam­age was caused to the fire exit door.

De­tec­tives are also in­ves­ti­gat­ing a small num­ber of ad­di­tional re­ports of of­fen­sive graf­fiti in the city over the bank hol­i­day week­end.

It is not yet known if all of­fences were com­mit­ted by the same in­di­vid­u­als.

On Mon­day af­ter­noon it was re­ported that of­fen­sive graf­fiti had been sprayed on part of the Uni­ver­sity of Wales’ New­port City Cen­tre cam­pus – again, be­lieved to have been car­ried out the night be­fore.

And at about 2.40am on Tues­day of­fi­cers at­tended Bas­sa­leg School, where a win­dow had been forced open and a small fire de­lib­er­ately started.

Of­fen­sive graf­fiti had also been sprayed on the premises.

De­tec­tives are also in­ves­ti­gat­ing a small num­ber of ad­di­tional re­ports of of­fen­sive graf­fiti in the city over the bank hol­i­day week­end. It is not yet known if all of­fences were com­mit­ted by the same in­di­vid­u­als.

Chief In­spec­tor Richard Blake­more, of Gwent Po­lice, said: “We are tak­ing these in­ci­dents very se­ri­ously – there is ab­so­lutely no place for hate crime in Gwent.

“We are work­ing ex­tremely hard to find out who com­mit­ted these of­fences so we can bring them to jus­tice quickly.

“We are in the process of study­ing CCTV footage and car­ry­ing out ex­ten­sive in­quiries in the ar­eas af­fected, but we would wel­come help from the pub­lic.

“Please get in touch if you have any in­for­ma­tion about the of­fences or if you saw any­one act­ing sus­pi­ciously in the ar­eas.

“I would like to re­as­sure the com­mu­nity that we are com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing our city is a wel­com­ing place for ev­ery­one.”

> The dam­age at Bas­sa­leg School, New­port

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