A FORMER detective superintendent believes no one will be brought to justice following the travellers’ attack on Thwaites premises over the bank holiday weekend.

Retired officer Mick Gradwell has blasted Lancashire Police’s response to a group of travellers breaking into the Blackburn town centre site and ransacking the offices, causing more than £100,000-worth of damage in the process, according to a Thwaites spokesman.

The clean-up process is still going on, and after power is reconnected to the building they will be able to fully assess the extent of the damage.

But to stop a repeat performance, Thwaites bosses have erected huge concrete bollards at every entrance at the Penny Street site, at a cost of thousands, despite preparing to move to a new HQ in Mellor Brook later in the year.

The convoy arrived at Blackburn’s Penny Street site in 25 vehicles at around 8pm on Saturday before police intervened and persuaded them to leave late on Monday afternoon.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said the force had “negotiated” with the travellers to leave.

But Mr Gradwell said the force’s response was too lenient and didn’t believe anyone would be brought to justice.

Speaking to Radio Lancashire, he said: “It is another appalling incident with travellers when they turn up en masse and leave a trail of devastation behind them.

“It is a problem that affects the country nationally and there doesn’t appear to be an answer in this day and age to try and sort it out.

“Compared to previous decades, a much softer stance was taken (at Thwaites). I can understand that it was a resource-intensive issue and it is almost as if they want to push the problem elsewhere.

“And that is the problem nationally. At this time of year, a lot of travellers are on their way to Appleby Fair and it’s common knowledge that criminal elements of the traveller community go on a spree.

“I’ve seen instances of metal garden gates being stolen and one year all the tack and saddles of the Lancashire mounted department was stolen and ended up at Appleby Fair.

“And you just saw this crime spree travelling towards Cumbria and it was the traveller community making its way up there.

“When you see the comments from the superintendent in charge, he said there will be a thorough investigation. I think in all honesty nothing whatsoever will be done and that’s the way it is these days.

“I don’t think it is fair and until people apply public pressure that these issues should be dealt with, these issues will be just shoved around the country, from one police area to another.

“I don’t anticipate any arrests will be made and nothing will happen.

“I think the best phrase is that it’s to hard to deal with, too difficult to deal with, so it gets shoved on.

“Please, Lancashire Police, surprise me and go and do something about it.”

Lancashire Telegraph readers have also been disappointed by the lack of action.

Gill Ellison said: “I was ashamed at the lack of action by Lancashire Constabulary over the bank holiday weekend. Three police vans and a car eventually attended the occupied site.

“Why were photographs of the travellers not taken? Why were vehicles not checked for insurance/tax and roadworthiness? When criminal damage of the building had clearly taken place, why were they not arrested?

“Finally, where are they now? Most likely on their way to Appleby Horse Fair. Will police liaise with Cumbria Police and bring them to justice? Don’t hold your breath.”

Michael Albin said: “There is something sadly wrong with the legal system in this country. If somebody breaks into your property then they should be arrested.

“What should have happened at Thwaites brewery is that police should have turned up on Saturday night and arrested everybody and taken them all into custody, and removed all their vehicles for inspection. I just wonder what they would have found if they did that.

“That is what would happen to you and me if we were caught breaking in somewhere.

“For far too long the legal system has bent over backwards to the continual criminality of the traveller community.”