Two asylum seekers living on board the controversial Bibby Stockholm migrant barge have been arrested for a suspected sexual assault in a nearby nightclub.
The suspects, aged 24 and 27, were detained in relation to an incident that occurred at the Kika Beach Bar in Weymouth, Dorset on Dec. 10.
The nightclub is located approximately six kilometers from the floating barge used to accommodate migrants who illegally entered Britain in small boats via the English Channel and subsequently claimed asylum.
The details relating to the alleged sexual assault are unclear, but police attended the venue last week to acquire CCTV footage of the night in question to further their investigation.
The suspects have since been released from custody and are on police bail.
“We received a report at 3:10 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, that a woman was sexually assaulted in Kika Beach on The Esplanade in Weymouth,” read a statement by Dorset Police.
“Officers attended and two men, aged 24 and 27, from Portland were arrested on suspicion of sexual assault. They have been released on police bail while inquiries continue.”
Staff at the nightclub told The Sun newspaper: “There was an accusation made last weekend. We have been spoken to by the police who have also looked through our CCTV.”
Portland residents had expressed concern that the new arrivals on board the floating migrant barge could see a rise in crime in the area.
“Local people aren’t happy that the barge is close by and have been fearing something like this might happen,” one told the U.K. tabloid newspaper.
Ahead of the migrants’ relocation to the area, residents had claimed the move would hit the tourist industry and place further pressure on already failing public services.
“We need to all stand up and fight this lunatic idea before it’s too late and we lose our only income from tourists. The government is so useless and has systematically ruined our country,” one said back in April.
“(At) two doctors’ surgeries (clinics) here, those of us who live here now can’t get an appointment for over two weeks,” added another.
“We just don’t want it here really, a lot of the locals,” said a third. “The locals are being forgotten about, the homeless are being forgotten about.”