Arson arrest after thrown firework starts blaze at Liver Building | UK news

A man has been arrested on suspicion of arson after a firework was thrown at the Liver Building as thousands of Liverpool fans celebrated their club’s Premier League win in the city.

Merseyside police said the man – a 19-year-old from Scarisbrick in Lancashire – was being questioned about the incident.

A fire that started when the firework landed on a balcony caused damage worth £10,000 to the building as fans gathered in the city centre on Friday.

A 26-year-old man had also been charged with grievous bodily harm following a serious assault on a man in the crowd, the force said.

Saturday morning outside the Liver building.

Saturday morning outside the Liver building. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

Officers were subject to “violent confrontations” and 15 other people were arrested for offences of public order, affray and being drunk and disorderly as several thousand supporters gathered at the city’s Pier Head for a second night of celebrations after Liverpool won the Premier League for the first time in 30 years.

Craig Campbell, of Kirkdale in Liverpool, was charged with grievous bodily harm after a 32-year-old man suffered serious head injuries, police said. He is due to appear before Liverpool magistrates on Monday.

Merseyside police assistant chief constable Jon Roy said two officers needed medical treatment for injuries to their backs after bottles were thrown at them as they went to aid the victim of the assault.

Later on, he said, a group of about 100 people threw glasses and bottles at riot police as they tried to stop them committing acts of disorder in the city centre.

“Specially trained officers in protective kit had to disperse them and we then had a number of really violent, absolutely unacceptable incidents of violence and disorder throughout the city centre,” he said.

In a joint statement with police and Liverpool city council, the football club condemned the scenes as “wholly inappropriate”.

The statement said: “The potential danger of a second peak of Covid-19 still exists and we need to work together to make sure we don’t undo everything that has been achieved as a region during lockdown.”

Mick Forrest, deputy chief executive of the North West ambulance service, said crews were sent to 34 emergencies around the city’s waterfront and 27 patients were taken to hospital, with three in a serious condition, with seven others treated at the scene.

Roy said by the time officers arrived at the Pier Head at 4pm, about 500 people were already there and within 35 minutes the numbers had doubled, with people continuing to arrive.

A section 34 dispersal order was later put in place for the city centre, allowing police to disperse the crowds.

Roy said a seven-day policing operation was under way to try to prevent further gatherings and CCTV was being examined to identify those involved on Friday.

Joe Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool, said: “Seeing thousands of people congregating at the Pier Head into the early hours and the ugly scenes shared on social media afterwards was heartbreaking to see. Fireworks, flares and tons of litter amount to nothing but disrespect for our city. Like many others, I became emotional out of frustration at what I was seeing.

“This mindless behaviour has the potential to damage Liverpool’s reputation – both the club and the city. I don’t believe this is how the team would like their achievement to be remembered.”

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