DYFED-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn has today, written a second letter to Home Secretary Suella Braveman MP, calling for a ‘pause and review’ of plans by the Home Office to accommodate asylum seekers at Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli.
PCC Llywelyn’s calls come following serious and escalating tensions in the area that are causing safety concerns for both local residents and contractors on site and contractors on site. There are also legal disputes taking place over land ownership around the boundaries of the hotel grounds, which is adding to the complexity of the situation and increasing pressures on Police officers.
Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said; “There is an urgent need for the Home Office to pause and review the dispersal of asylum seekers to the Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli, both to ease the pressures on local services and to address the potentially serious and escalating tensions.
“I have also been made aware that legal action and an ‘injunction’ have both been submitted in relation to a disputed entrance that has been created to the side of the Hotel grounds. There is obvious disagreement as to whether private contractors engaged by the Home Office have a legal entitlement to access the site; this has increased community tensions and resulted in a very substantial Police presence at the location since Friday 7th July 2023.
“The area has been permanently policed since Sunday 9th July and a number of people have been arrested. Dyfed-Powys Police have been required to draw upon resources from across the Force area to manage this extremely difficult situation. This is not sustainable, and they are continually assessing staffing capabilities and officer welfare, which will likely result in an imminent withdrawal of officers from the location.
“It is becoming an increasingly difficult situation to navigate and manage from a Policing perspective”.
In his letter to the Home Office, PCC Dafydd Llywelyn also points out that the Home Office is going against Welsh Government’s strategy to accommodate asylum seekers, which is to house people in a dispersed model.
In his letter to the Home Office, PCC Dafydd Llywelyn notes; “I would reiterate from my previous letter my support for the Welsh Government’s strategy, which is to house people in a dispersed model. This is sustainable in offering a longer-term solution for asylum seekers within the Dyfed-Powys area. It is a model that the people of Wales support, have embraced and have successfully delivered to re-settle Syrian, Afghan, Ukrainian and general asylum seekers in recent years.
“The decisions made by the Home Office are in direct conflict with this. The model of accommodating large numbers of asylum seekers in one concentrated site is not the appropriate way to accommodate people who are seeking asylum.
“It is disappointing to see once again a lack of local engagement or any form of consultation by the Home Office with local service providers to understand the impact of locating in excess of 200 asylum seekers at the site, which has resulted in unnecessary pressure being placed on local resources and service providers.”
“I would further reiterate the importance of proactive communication from the Home Office in relation to this matter, both with local service providers and with the public“.