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Dyfed Powys Police

Six arrests at Stradey Park Hotel after alleged arson attempts

Dyfed Powys Police say they have arrested six people at Llanelli’s Stradey Park Hotel after alleged arson attempts and criminal damage followed a protest drive-by those campaigning against the use of the hotel as accommodation for asylum seekers.

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Protestors at Stradey Park Hotel

Dyfed Powys Police are reporting that they received reports a vehicle was on fire on the hotel grounds at around 10.25pm on Saturday (30 September).

The fire was quickly extinguished by a police officer with no injuries reported.

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. They have been released on bail pending further police enquiries.

During Sunday afternoon (1 October), a planned ‘drive by’ by campaigners took place at the hotel. Several of the motorbikes forced their way through the main entrance, despite uniformed officers stood in their way. Police say, fortunately, no officers were injured.

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A large number of protestors then pushed over security fences and forced their way on to the hotel grounds, where some caused damage to the hotel by smashing windows.

Police say that CCTV and body worn video footage will now be reviewed to identify offences and offenders.

At 10.30pm that day, a fire was reported in a stairwell at the hotel. At the same time, 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 with no injuries reported.

A man aged 40 and a woman aged 44, 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. They have been released on bail pending further police enquiries.

Dyfed Powys Police say the investigation into these incidents is ongoing and further arrests are anticipated. Officers remain at the hotel to provide reassurance to residents and the community.

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Local Senedd Member, Lee Waters criticised the actions of protestors and said that his town centre offices were also targeted.

Writing on social media, Mr Waters said: “As well as setting fire to the Stradey Park Hotel on Sunday (in a stairwell on the hotel’s ground floor which thankfully the police were able to put out), masked criminals also attacked our office in Llanelli and tried to set it on fire – they smashed the windows with crowbars and threw in fireworks before running off.”

“We shouldn’t accept this as normal in our town.”

Carmarthenshire Commander, Superintendent Ross Evans said: “Keeping our communities safe is our priority, and as a force, we will always seek to facilitate lawful peaceful protest while balancing it with the rights of others, keeping the public safe and preventing crime and disorder. However, the behaviour of some individuals has gone far beyond this over the past few days.

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

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“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.

“Public safety remains our priority and we will continue to listen to and work with all parties.

“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.

“I urge anyone planning to join the protest to follow the example that has been set by local residents.”

(Lead image: Martin Davies)

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