South East Wales

Police launch 'hate crime' investigation in Newport

A swastika tag left on the University of South Wales' Newport City Campus
Image caption Graffiti was left on the grounds of the University of South Wales

A series of alleged hate crimes in Newport are being investigated by police after buildings were set alight and sprayed with Nazi graffiti.

The Bassaleg School and Masonic Hall were damaged by fire and Swastikas were left on the University of South Wales.

Alongside some of the graffiti was a message supporting English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson.

Gwent Police is probing if the incidents in the early hours of Monday and Tuesday are connected.

At 09:50 BST on Monday police were told the Masonic Hall had been deliberately set alight overnight, causing "extensive damage" to the fire exit door.

Later that day, police received another report about offensive graffiti, which had been sprayed on part of the university's city campus.

Officers were also called to Bassaleg School at 02:40 on Tuesday where a window was forced open, a small fire deliberately started, and similar graffiti was left behind.

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

Chief Inspector Richard Blakemore 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.

"I would like to reassure all members of the Newport community that we are committed to ensuring our city is a welcoming and safe place for everyone.

"My officers will be carrying out increased patrols today to share that message and offer any support required."

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