Knowsley Community Policing Superintendent Karl Baldwin said: “We are investigating a total of ten crimes related to the Suites Hotel, all of which have been reported since the Violent Disorder on Friday 10 February. These include assaults, malicious communications, and verbal abuse, both of staff, residents and people wrongly assumed to be connected to the premises.
“On Saturday 11 February, a number of phone calls were made to the Suites Hotel which were reportedly of a racist and obscene nature. Following enquiries, a 51-year-old Kirkby man was arrested on Friday 17 February. He remains on conditional bail, whilst a decision to charge is sought from the CPS.
“On Monday 27 February, two males were approached by a group of males in Broad Lane, Kirkby, who shouted threats and followed them into Southdene Park, before assaulting them.
“On Tuesday 28 February at around 11.30pm, patrols were called to the East Lancashire Road, At around 11.30pm to reports of a man being assaulted near to Home Bargains by two males on electric bikes and armed with batons. The victim sustained superficial injuries to his leg. In both of these incidents, minor injuries were sustained by the victims. Both incidents are being treated as hate crimes.
“Other incidents have been reported where people have been verbally abused near to the hotel. Enquiries are ongoing in relation to all these incidents.
“Violence, threats and harassment targeting anyone will not be tolerated, and are completely inexcusable. For residents and staff connected to the premises to be targeted is despicable, and we will continue to work closely with the premises, as well as our partners, residents and communities to ensure all information is acted upon.
“Such incidents can be the consequence of misinformation and rumour which can circulate and be shared by people with no thought to the harm and distress caused.
“We are aware that there is a lot of concern throughout our community, concern that we are taking very seriously. Despicably, some are choosing to prey upon that concern on social media by using falsehoods, misinformation and inflammatory language. We encourage everyone to view such information sceptically. What plays out online can have real world consequences that put innocent people in harm’s way.
“Merseyside Police has, and will, investigate every incident that is reported to us.
“Our officers are supporting those support every victim of crime and we will continue to use all our available powers to ensure that there is no repeat of the disorder of in February, which put officers, residents and those peaceful protesters in serious danger. An investigation into that incident continues. This week, Jared Skeete, 19, from Aigburth was found pleaded guilty to Violent Disorder and will be sentenced next month. The dedicated investigation team set up in the wake of the Violent Disorder, continues at pace. All those involved in the violence in February and who have committed one of the crimes since, should be in no doubt that we are doing all we can to bring them to justice and think twice about repeating their behaviour.
“The incident in February put those in the community and our officers at risk. Those involved used rumours and allegations as an excuse to commit violence and intimidate members of the public. We will continue to use all available powers to deter any similar incidents of violence, threats and harassment, while acknowledging that people have the right to peacefully protest.
“I hope these arrests, charges and ongoing investigations demonstrate our commitment to investigating each and every one of these incidents. If you have any information, please come forward and we will do the rest.”
You can report any incidents to @MerPolCC or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Always call 999 if a crime is in progress.
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.