Man arrested after mosque in Newport set on fire in suspected hate crime

The building been left damaged by the fire. Credit: Google Maps

A 43-year-old man has been arrested after a "deliberate" fire at a south Wales mosque, which police are treating as a hate crime.

Local worshippers tackled the blaze at the mosque, on George Street in Newport, when it broke out at around lunchtime on Monday 28 March.

The man is currently being held in custody on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

Police and fire crews attended the scene after receiving reports of a fire at around 5.30pm. No injuries were reported, but the building has suffered damaged.

Chief Superintendent Tom Harding, of Gwent Police, said: “We’ve launched an arson investigation following a deliberate fire at a mosque on George Street, Newport.

“Fortunately, no injuries were reported, and the fire was quickly extinguished by local worshippers.

“Following reports, our officers swiftly attended to reassure members of the local community and begin our investigation.

“The fire caused damage to the mosque, shocking and upsetting all those involved."

Police confirmed they are treating the incident as a hate crime.

"It’s never acceptable to target anyone because of who they are and what they believe," Chief Superintendent Harding continued.

"We will take action against those who commit this type of crime, putting the victim at the heart of everything that we do.

“Our specialist hate crime officers will be assisting this investigation and we’re appealing for anyone with information to come forward and speak to us.

“As our investigation continues, local residents will see additional officers on patrol, and we encourage you to speak directly to them if you have any concern.”

A spokesperson for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: "At approximately 5:32pm on Monday 28 March, we responded to a late fire call on George Street in Newport.

"A crew from Maindee Station attended the scene, but the fire had been extinguished upon their arrival. Crews used specialist equipment - including a thermal imaging camera and ceiling hook - to check for hotspots, and advised occupiers to ventilate the building."

Anyone with information, including CCTV or dashcam footage, is asked to contact Gwent Police on social media @GwentPolice or dial the non-emergency number 101, quoting log reference 2200102416.

Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.