Protesters released after arrests at disused hotel

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FOUR people arrested by police in Lancaster after the Occupy Lancaster protesters took over a disused hotel have been released without charge.

Police were called to the former Railton Hotel in Station Road at about 4pm on Sunday after reports of a break-in, and found a group of protesters inside the building, according to a spokesman for Lancashire police.

Two men aged 30 and 47 from Lancaster and a 47-year-old man from Morecambe along with a women aged 28 from Lancaster were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. They were released just before 5pm on Monday.

The group is now considering a complaint of unlawful arrest to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

They say Section 6 of the Criminal Law Act gives squatters some conditional protection from illegal or violent entry.

A group of protesters under the Occupy Lancaster banner camped in Lancaster’s Dalton Square from the end of November until Christmas Eve.

They pitched tents and a marquee following last year’s strikes and marches over pay and pension reforms in the public sector.

See this week’s paper for more details.