Chief Constable slams ‘completely unacceptable’ scenes in Liverpool

The Chief Constable of Merseyside Police has condemned as “completely unacceptable” the violent scenes outside a hotel where asylum seekers were staying. Three people were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder after protesters hurled missiles and damaged a police van yesterday evening (February 10).

Officers in Prescot, Knowsley, were dealing with two groups of protesters after the demonstration descended into chaos outside the Suites Hotel in Ribblers Lane. Knowsley MP Sir George Howarth said the demonstration was triggered by “an alleged incident on social media” and criticised misinformation claiming refugees were “feather-bedded” inside.

Videos shared on social media appear to show a police van on fire and officers carrying riot shields in the area. Chief Constable Serena Kennedy vowed to identify the “mindless individuals” involved in the violence.

Read more: Three arrested after appalling scenes near hotel

She said: “Officers faced incredibly challenging scenes tonight while carrying out their duties. The scenes were completely unacceptable, putting our communities and my staff in danger.

“We will be continuing in our identification of those mindless individuals who were responsible for the offences . There will be an increased police presence over the weekend and we will be working with our partners to provide reassurance to the local community.”

Footage sent to the Echo shows people taking what appear to be sledgehammers to a police vehicle. Further shocking images from the scene showed a police riot van, parked near to the gathering, initially being vandalised with graffiti before being set alight.

It is understood a number of far-right groups were involved in organising the protest and tonight Knowsley Labour MP George Howarth slammed the scenes and said they did not represent the community.

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