Politics

Woman, 53, arrested over ‘abusive’ stickers in Newport



A 53-year-old woman from Newport has been arrested after stickers displaying “threatening or abusive writing” were placed around the city.

Gwent Police said a 53-year-old woman from Newport was arrested on Sunday, January 23 on suspicion of criminal damage and displaying threatening or abusive writing likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. She was later released on bail.

Superintendent Vicki Townsend from Gwent Police said it had received six reports in relation to posters containing offensive material appearing in Newport between October and January.

She said the force tweeted on Friday, January 21 about posters containing “offensive” material and was asking the public to not remove them after sharp objects including glass and pins had been found behind them.

“Officers on patrol in Newport saw a woman spraying stickers to two lampposts,” Supt Townsend said in a statement on Tuesday, January 25.

“A 53-year-old woman from Newport was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and displaying threatening or abusive writing likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

“She was later released on conditional bail as enquiries continue.

“The woman was arrested at 2.39pm on Sunday, January 23 and was released from custody after interview at 3.23am on Monday, January 24.”

While the woman was in custody a mobile phone and stickers were seized as part of police enquiries. Following her arrest officers attended the women’s address and conducted a search where further items including stickers and posters were seized.

Gwent Police could not confirm the content of the stickers as they fall into an active investigation but said the content was directed towards the transgender community.

It said it was aware of a yellow sticker on social media stating “3+ women are killed by men each week” and “domestic violence kills”. It said the 53-year-old woman from Newport was not arrested in relation to this sticker and its contents.

“This public safety message was intended to make the public aware of the dangers of potentially removing a poster, after glass and pins had been stuck behind the posters,” Superintendent Townsend said.

“We would reiterate that if anyone finds such a poster that they leave it to the relevant authority to remove it safely rather than risk injury.”

Supt Townsend said a healthcare professional assessed the woman at 7.10pm on Sunday following her arrest and requested officers collect her medication from her address.

“A quantity of medication was brought into custody by officers at 10.23pm after attending her address,” she said.

“The healthcare professional was unable to prescribe it while in custody for safety reasons.

“The woman was released from custody in accordance with police guidelines and there was no legal reason to keep her in the custody unit after her interview.

“The custody sergeant spoke to the woman who did raise that her mobile phone had been taken and she was informed it had been seized as part of the investigation.

“Upon release, the woman was offered transport for both herself and her mobility scooter but declined and chose to make her own way home.”

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