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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 March, 2004, 11:02 GMT
Officers 'backed' homes arson
Meibion Glyndwr targeted holiday homes in a campaign of arson
Meibion Glyndwr targeted holiday homes in a campaign of arson
Some police officers were sympathetic to a campaign of arson on holiday homes in Wales in the 1980s, according to the detective who was in charge of investigating the attacks.

The so-called Meibion Glyndwr - Sons of Glyndwr - began their campaign of cottage burning in December 1979 in protest at what they claimed was a growing trend of homes in rural Wales being sold as holiday cottages to people from England.

Around 300 properties were attacked during a campaign lasting until the mid-1990s.

Although one man, Sion Aubrey Roberts, was convicted in 1993 of sending letter bombs in the post, the cottage-burning cases remain unsolved.

Now the former head of North Wales CID Gareth Jones has told BBC Wales' Taro Naw programme that some officers in the force, but who were outside the unit investigating the arsonists, supported the actions of Meibion Glyndwr.

Mr Jones, who is now retired, said: "It was a very exciting time - a very difficult time for the police. At the time there was great political pressure.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones led the investigation into the attacks
"What you had was terrorists in Wales breaking the law night after night and there was pressure on the chief constable to catch those responsible.

"There's no doubt that some police outside this unit were supportive of what was going on.

"I have no doubt about that and we had to co-operate and work with those people, but nobody was open about it at the time of course."

Also in the programme, Mr Jones creates a map of where he believes members of Meibion Glyndwr lived, based on the pattern of arson attacks.

Meibion Glyndwr - named after 15th Century rebel leader Owain Glyndwr - said in 1989 that "every white settler" was a target for their campaign.

But the group has not been active since the mid-1990s.

Taro Naw is being broadcast at 2025 GMT on Tuesday on S4C.

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