Two boys, 14, arrested over violent protest outside asylum seeker hotel in Knowsley

Four arrests were made in the early hours of Tuesday morning as police executed five warrants.

Merseyside Police have arrested four more people suspected of committing offences when a peaceful protest turned violent outside a hotel used to house asylum seekers in Knowsley. The arrests include two teenage boys aged 14 from Kirkby and St Helens.

At around 6.30pm on Friday February 10, violence erupted near the Suites Hotel and missiles including lit fireworks were thrown at officers.

A police officer and two members of the public received slight injuries during the incident, and more than £83,000 worth of damage was caused to police vehicles.

At around 6.45am, on Tuesday morning (May 23) the force executed five warrants as part of an ongoing police operation to bring those involved to justice and prevent further incidents of disorder and crime.

Those arrested on suspicion of violent disorder include two teenage boys and two men aged 42 and 44 from Kirkby. They will be taken to police stations on Merseyside where they will be questioned. Seven people were also arrested last week, with five charged.

A protest against asylum seekers at the Suites Hotel in Knowsley turned violent.A protest against asylum seekers at the Suites Hotel in Knowsley turned violent.
A protest against asylum seekers at the Suites Hotel in Knowsley turned violent.

Detective Chief Inspector John Fitzgerald said: “I hope these arrests show that anyone who causes disorder in our community and threatens or harms our officers will be brought to justice. We will always respect the right to protest when these are peaceful but such violence that endangered our officers and others is totally unacceptable.

“Such tactics to intimidate or target particular communities in Knowsley will not be tolerated and we are determined to remand anyone who perpetrates such crimes. We have arrested a further four suspects, in addition to the seven who were arrested last week and will continue to take action to ensure the safety of our community and officers.”

Local Policing Inspector Mark Berry added: “I would like to assure residents in Knowsley that Merseyside Police is fully committed to tackling any disorder on our streets and will pursue those involved in any hate crime incidents.

“Our officers will have a visible presence in the area so if you have any concerns about crime or disorder where you live please speak with us. Any information you have could prevent any further violence and disorder that harmed our community and officers in February.”

Reporting a hate crime: If, for any reason, you do not wish to report a hate crime to the police, the independent charity Stop Hate UK to run a 24/7 confidential helpline for all victims of hate crime on 0800 138 1625 or www.stophateuk.org. You can also download the Stop Hate UK reporting app on Google Play or the Apple App Store.

You can report any incidents to police on 999 if a crime is in progress, via 101, or via Twitter @MerPolCC. You can also pass information via the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org