Five individuals have been arrested in connection with disturbances at Llanelli’s Stradey Park Hotel, soon to accommodate over 200 asylum seekers under a Home Office initiative. Amidst mounting tensions, Dyfed Powys Police urges the public for “calm and co-operation”.
On the evening of August 15, several individuals reportedly trespassed onto hotel grounds, behaving menacingly. This incident follows reports from Monday when a contractor’s vehicle was allegedly vandalized as he departed the venue, leading to an arrest.
The decision to house asylum seekers at the four-star hotel has sparked controversy. Local opposition culminated in an unsuccessful High Court challenge by Carmarthenshire Council. The objection? A “material change of use without planning permission”.
In a statement, Dyfed Powys Police elaborated: “Since August 14, we’ve witnessed a concerning escalation in protesters’ behavior. On that Monday, a vehicle belonging to a hotel contractor was damaged, resulting in an arrest. By the night of August 15, trespassers allegedly intimidated hotel personnel. Our officers have since made five arrests and are continuously investigating. We’re also on-site to ensure the community’s safety.”
The police have also expressed concern over individuals donning balaclavas near the premises. Consequently, a Section 60AA order has been enacted, empowering officers to command the removal of identity-concealing items in the Stradey Park Hotel vicinity, Pentrepoeth Road, and the B4309 in Furnace.
“We strive to support peaceful protests while ensuring public safety and upholding the rights of all involved. We extend our gratitude to those who have protested peacefully and urge newcomers to emulate this respectful approach,” the statement read.
Dyfed-Powys Police requests anyone with information on recent incidents or plans to protest to reach out via their website, email at [email protected], or by dialing 101.