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Six arrests after fires at hotel set to house asylum seekers.

03 Oct 2023 3 minute read
Protesters outside of Llanelli’s Stradey Park Hotel

Richard Youle, local democracy reporter

Six people have been arrested following two fires at Llanelli’s Stradey Park Hotel and a large gathering of protesters who pushed over security fences to gain access at the weekend.

Dyfed-Powys Police described the scenes on September 30 and October 1 as “another concerning escalation in behaviour” among some protesters who object to the planned use of the hotel by the Home Office for up to 240 asylum seekers. Further arrests, it said, were expected.

The force’s Carmarthenshire commander, Superintendent Ross Evans, said officers always tried balance people’s right to protest peacefully with the rights of others and with preventing crime and disorder.

“However, the behaviour of some individuals has gone far beyond this over the past few days,” he said.

Dyfed-Powys Police said in a statement that officers put out a vehicle fire in the grounds of the hotel late on September 30, and that a 48-year-old man from Caerphilly, and two women, aged 53 and 52, from Cleveland and Peterborough, were arrested on suspicion of arson and other offences.

The statement said a planned “drive-by” on October 1 at the hotel resulted in several motorcyclists forcing their way through the main entrance, despite officers standing in their way. A large number of protesters then pushed over security fences and forced their way onto the hotel grounds, where some caused damage to the hotel by smashing windows.

At 10.30pm on October 1, a fire was reported in a stairwell at the hotel. At the same time, said police, fireworks and other missiles were fired towards officers while vehicles were moved in an attempt to block access for the Mid and West Wales Fire Service. The fire was extinguished. A 40-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman both from the Carmarthen area, were arrested on suspicion of arson and a Llanelli man, aged 66, was arrested on suspicion of obstructing emergency services. Officers are continuing to review footage.

Escalation

Superintendent Evans said: “These latest arrests come following another concerning escalation in behaviour of some protesters, which has once again resulted in significant damage to the hotel property.

“Dyfed-Powys Police will not tolerate unlawful behaviour – a protest does not provide an excuse to commit criminal offences. Where an offence is committed, we will take all reasonable and proportionate steps to bring offenders to justice.”

He added: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those who have demonstrated peacefully over the past few weeks, and appeal for calm to resume. I would also like to thank the team who have dealt with the disorder at the hotel site over the past few days – they have done so in very difficult circumstances.”

The fire service said yesterday that its Llanelli crew had attended the hotel late on October 1 after police put out the stairwell fire.

Footage shared on social media showed dozens of protesters within the hotel grounds on October 1, including outside the reception area. In one of the videos a man is heard saying: “Amazing scenes.” He said the motorcyclists at the end of the drive-by “all came through”. He laughed, then added: “Their fencing is not looking good, folks.”


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Sally-Anne
Sally-Anne
6 months ago

I think the courts should enforce the strictest possible sentences on those found to have come from places outside of Cymru to cause trouble…not that I am advocating leniency for those of our own who have behaved in such a shameful and out of-control manner, but we all know that none of them will be treated as harshly as XR and we need to demonstrate that Cymru will not tolerate people from other countries coming here and breaking the law.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
6 months ago

The Fat Shanks Johnson effect is a societal cancer…Is it curable ?

A.Redman
A.Redman
6 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

You should know!

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
6 months ago

Women from Cleveland and Peterborough!
No wonder there are so many Butchers Aprons on show!!!!!

Jeff
Jeff
6 months ago

Huh.
Braverman and the government keeping her in post with awful racist ideology causing this not the hotel and the police. Vote the cons back in and it will get a lot worse, refugees are people.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 months ago

Those Britain First morons who attacked police with fireworks, racially abusing ethic minority security guards and set fire to stairwells, which I might add could have kill those asylum seekers within, should not only be named and shamed but receive a custodial sentence. Yes, there is freedom of speech and right to protest but they abused their rights and deserve none. With rights come responsibility. It doesn’t mean you can cause criminal damage and attempt to murder using fire as a means to and end like those BritNat extremist fools attempted to do. What did they think the outcome would… Read more »

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
6 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Clywch clywch!

Annibendod
Annibendod
6 months ago

Speaking as a (very) local resident, I wish these “protestors” would “jog on”. Any local concerns have been hijacked by the far right. I see that they have put up a rambling notice nearby which begins “Is it racist …” The answer of course is that it is racist to scapegoat and mis-represent the people it is proposed to be housed there. There are a bunch of concerns that we residents have about the suitability of the plans, and I personally would take the UK Govt to task over their defunding of immigration services and hostile stance towards the EU… Read more »

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
6 months ago

Today October 4th is the anniversary of the events that took place at Cable Steet in 1936

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