'Threatening' letters sent to businesses and councillors over Bibby Stockholm dispute

Bobby Stockholm will be home to 500 asylum seekers Credit: PA

“Threatening” letters have been sent to councillors and businesses about the Bibby Stockholm. 

An investigation has been launched into a number of "threatening" letters sent to councillors and businesses in the Weymouth and Portland area about the Bibby Stockholm.

The letters, from a far-right group, are all about the Bibby Stockholm - a barge which will be used to house 500 asylum seekers at Portland Port.

According to a warning sent out by We Are Weymouth BID, the letters "contain threats to damage property and intimidate people linked to the Portland Barge" and are reportedly subject to a police investigation. 

Police officers have advised people not to engage with the letter and not to post about it on social media.

The facilities on the Bibby Stockholm. Credit: PA

Recipients are also advised to handle the letter as little as possible, put the letter and envelope into a plastic bag, and hand it to Dorset Police so they can test for fingerprints. 

We Are Weymouth BID was unable to comment on the matter as it was a police investigation.

A spokeswoman for Weymouth Town Council confirmed they were aware of the letters and shared that appropriate advice had been given to councillors if they received a letter.

She said: "The council has been made aware by Dorset Police that letters have been sent to local businesses and councillors.

"Councillors have been given guidance if they receive such a letter and have been asked to inform the police who are looking into this."

Local policing commander chief superintendent Richard Bell said: “We have been made aware of a small number of threatening letters that have been sent to local businesses.

“The content of the letters appears to be linked to the planned use of the Bibby Stockholm to house asylum seekers at Portland Port.

“The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made at this time. If you receive such a letter, please contact Dorset Police quoting reference 55230171721.

“We understand everyone will have a different viewpoint and opinion on the housing of asylum seekers in our communities, but we will not tolerate action that is hateful or intended to put others in fear of going about their day to day business.

“Dorset Police will continue to take a proportionate approach to the policing of protest and I would like to thank those who have been peacefully and safely protesting for their engagement with officers and staff.

“We will continue to work hard with partners to keep our communities informed and engaged as we prepare to welcome the first group boarding the barge.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…