Kent Police has said that it is continuing to investigate following a large disturbance and fire at Napier Barracks in Folkestone.
The fire, which has caused a significant amount of damage to at least one part of the former military site, is suspected of being started deliberately.
A spokesperson for Kent Police said that enquiries to identify the person or people responsible are ongoing.
The force confirmed that officers were called to the barracks at around 2 pm on Friday 29 January 2021 and attended along with Kent Fire and Rescue Service and South East Coast Ambulance Service.
No serious injuries have been reported.
Detective Chief Superintendent Andrew Pritchard said:
‘We are carrying out enquiries and working with partners, including the Home Office and KFRS to establish the circumstances surrounding this serious incident and the identities of those who may have been involved.
‘Whilst the exact nature of the disturbance and any potential links to the fire are still being investigated, it would be inaccurate to refer to the disturbance as a riot, and it is not being treated as such.
‘There have been no arrests but enquiries are ongoing.’
The Home Office said people had “set about destroying the barracks” because they objected to not being moved from the site after a Covid outbreak.
Home Secretary Priti Patel called the “destruction… deeply offensive to the taxpayers of this country”.
The former military site has been used to house more than 400 asylum seekers since September.
According to the Home Office, staff had moved a number of asylum seekers from the site earlier in the week following a Covid outbreak so that those remaining could self-isolate and a deep clean could take place.
Some of those who stayed “became aggressive, turned violent and began to set about destroying the barracks” after they objected that the authorities had not moved them as well.
The government department claimed that windows had been smashed at the barracks and one building had been set on fire.
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