Lancashire

Four charged over 'trashed' Thwaites brewery

Raids by Lancashire Police Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption The charges follow a widespread police operation involving dawn raids

Three men and a 16-year-old boy have been charged with "trashing" a Lancashire brewery during a break-in.

A group of about 100 travellers occupied the Thwaites site in Blackburn on 26 May, allegedly causing about £100,000 of damage.

On Tuesday police made six arrests during dawn raids in parts of Bolton and Wigan.

The men, aged 32, 33 and 43, and the boy were charged with offences including criminal damage and burglary.

They are scheduled to appear at Blackburn Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Two other men, both aged 21, have been released under investigation after being arrested on suspicion of burglary.

Image caption More than £10,000 in damage was allegedly caused at the Thwaites site

Assistant Chief Constable Jo Edwards of Lancashire Police said the arrests are "just the latest stage" in an ongoing investigation.

Police had faced criticism from the brewery and Blackburn MP Kate Hollern for taking two days to force the travellers to leave.

Chief Constable Andy Rhodes apologised for not acting sooner saying there were not enough officers available on a "mega busy bank holiday weekend".

Thwaites said 1,700 pints of beer had been poured away in case of contamination.

After the disorder, the company ended brewing at its Penny Street site.

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