A Cornish nationalist group’s threats were discounted after they had posted a blog post claiming to have a suicide bomber within their ranks, alongside a picture of graffiti targeting students.
The blog post, dated 11 June, contained a lengthy statement, claiming to have set fire to a Rick Stein restaurant in June, as well as threats to English-owned properties in Cornwall. It also claimed that one member was “ready to pay the ultimate price”. The blog has since been removed.
Also on the blog was a picture of graffiti, reading “Penryn has had enough of students” and signed “CRA”. The graffiti can be traced back to 2009, and has been removed since. FXU has told Exeposé that there had been no more incidents targeting students since.
Devon and Cornwall Police told Exeposé that they had “nothing to suggest that what is stated within these blogs is creditable”.
There is no evidence that the June fire at Rick Stein’s restaurant was, in fact, started by the CRA. It is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault.
A joint statement from the University of Exeter and Falmouth University said: “Devon and Cornwall Police have told us they are not treating this blog as credible evidence that there is a threat to anyone living in Cornwall. Penryn is a safe place to live and work and students should not be alarmed by recent articles in the media.”
Stressing the good relationship between Penryn students and the wider community, Harry Bishop, FXU President Community & Welfare said: “As any organisation would, FXU takes this seriously. Of course we are concerned with the threats raised, but the Cornwall we know is very much a community of people who support each other. We do not believe the threat of action is an opinion held by the majority of Cornish people, who agree with us in condemning and deploring any act of violence.
“FXU, Falmouth University, and University of Exeter continues to work in the local communities and is proud of its students fostering good relationships by volunteering and fundraising across Cornwall, and helping to move past any differences between neighbours. We are proud of our excellent relationship with Town Councils and Resident Associations within Falmouth, Penryn and Mabe. Furthermore, in the coming year FXU is excited by the prospect of starting its Community Committee, which will bring together long-term residents and students to move forwards progressively beyond any differences.
The Cornish Republican Army, formerly named the Cornish National Liberation Army, claims to be a merger of two other nationalist groups, An Gof and the Cornish Liberation Army. They are sometimes derided as the “Ooh Arr A”.
In its statement, it claimed to have 30 members, including one who is “prepared to pay the ultimate price in the battle for Kernow”. They threatened to target marks of the “English Imperial System”, such as second homes owned by English people and flags, which it calls “the blood cross flag”.
In 2007, a Padstow man was arrested and later released on bail over threats against Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver.