Police launch investigation after night porter confronts masked intruders.

DETECTIVES are investigating claims that masked men entered a Bideford hotel in the middle of the night carrying a shotgun and a pistol.

Police received report of a disturbance at the Durrant House Hotel shortly before 1am this morning (Wednesday).

Two men wearing balaclavas are understood to have entered the hotel in Heywood Road and assaulted a night porter, possibly because he attempted to confront them.

A female member of staff was also allegedly threatened by the men, after which it is understood they left.

The porter was taken to North Devon District Hospital, in Barnstaple, with minor injuries.

A police spokesperson said detectives were still gathering details and the exact circumstances of the incident or motive, were unclear.

“At this time it is unclear if the two offenders were carrying firearms – there is one report which suggests they had what appeared to be a shotgun type weapon and a pistol, although this information is not confirmed.

“This is an investigation in its early stages and police are now making a number of enquiries to establish circumstances and follow lines of enquiry.”

A spokesperson for the Durrant said the hotel was unable to comment because of on-going discussions with the police.

Detectives are keen to hear from anyone with any information about the incident, or who saw a vehicle or two men behaving suspiciously near to where the incident took place.

The spokesperson continued: “Did anyone see a vehicle driving away from the location at speed? Was there anything unusual seen or heard around this time that can be remembered? Any details could be vital to the police investigation.”

Witnesses are asked to telephone Bideford police on 101 quoting police log 28 of 9 November 2011, or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.