Police confirm 17 arrests at Stradey Park Hotel protests
Dyfed-Powys Police has confirmed 17 people have been arrested in connection with protest at the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli.
The hotel has been the focus of demonstrators since the Home Office announced in June that it planned to house up to 241 asylum seekers there.
Since the initial protests a number of anti-immigrant groups from outside the area as well as counterdemonstrators have also congregated outside the hotel, with some protesters camping outside.
On 27 July the owners of the four-star hotel secured a temporary High Court injunction limiting the activities of protesters objecting to the plans.
Gryphon Leisure – which owns the hotel asked a judge in London to impose an “urgent interim injunction” in a bid to prevent trespass and obstruction at the property.
The majority of arrests detailed by the police have taken place over the past week, following what they describe as a “concerning escalation of behaviour by some protestors” – which resulted in significant damage to the hotel grounds and property between 14 to 16 August,
At a partnership event held in the town on Monday evening, residents were told Dyfed-Powys Police were working hard to balance the rights of the public to peaceful protest with the rights of the owners of the hotel to access the property, and the safety of the wider community.
Superintendent Ross Evans, Commander for Carmarthenshire, said: “My officers and I are proud to serve the Furnace community and we come to work every day to keep the area safe for all who live, work and visit the area.
“We are also part of the community and it is acknowledged that the past few weeks have been a real challenge for everyone connected with the area.
“As a force, we fully recognise the concerns of residents and protestors. We are listening and responding to these concerns. We will continue to facilitate peaceful protest, however at times over the past week the behaviour of some individuals has gone beyond this.
“We will not allow unlawful behaviour to take place at these events. Where an offence is committed, we will take all reasonable and proportionate steps to bring offenders to justice, and enforcement action taken over the past seven days has clearly demonstrated this. The people of Carmarthenshire expect their local police to keep them safe and that is what we will continue to do.
“Public safety remains our priority and we will continue to listen to and work with all parties. In particular, is our intention to work with any protest groups in advance of any events so that we can facilitate peaceful demonstration.”
Since the beginning of July, a total of 21 arrests of 17 individuals have been made in connection with the protest.
The majority of those arrested have bail conditions which prevent them either entering the area surrounding the hotel, Llanelli or Wales.
In a statement the police say the investigation into the disorderly behaviour of some protestors last week, which resulted in extensive damage to the hotel, is ongoing. Officers anticipate further arrests in connection to this matter.
A dedicated investigation team has been set up in response, and among other enquiries they are reviewing an extensive amount of video material.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.