Attacks on Llanelli’s mosque prompt security rise

Llanelli mosque frontSecurity measures have been taken at Llanelli’s mosque following claims of attacks on the building.

Metal bars have been fitted over the Station Road mosque’s front window after reports were made that the glass was smashed while someone was praying inside. The incident came just months after the door was kicked through and a group of elderly women were followed in.

And police are now conducting high visibility patrols in the area to calm the concerns of people using the mosque.

Press officer for Llanelli’s Ethnic Minority Help Association Anne Stevens-Bevan said she was working hard to ensure people feel safe when they go to pray.

“I met with the police last week and I am negotiating with them and the Muslim Council for Great Britain to see what advice they can give,” she said. “There have been problems with things thrown at the window and people being chased and abused physically and mentally. The trouble has been on-going for 14 years, but I have made a promise that it won’t happen again because it’s just not fair.”

Mrs Stevens-Bevan said she was “sickened to the stomach” to hear that the window was smashed while someone was praying. “It should be a world of calmness,” she said. “Having to put bars over the window takes away from that – it takes away from the sense of peace.”

She added that while lighting would soon be installed near the mosque, efforts were still being made to have CCTV cameras installed.

“The mosque is well used – and by some very elderly people – and they should feel safe,” she said. “They get mouthy people passing, and these words can build up and rob them of their self-esteem. People don’t forget things like that, and for the women who were followed into the mosque it must be in their minds all the time. The mosque is a sacred place, like our churches and chapels, and we will not give up until people feel safe to go there.”

PC Dylan Davies said: “When they reported the criminal damage to me I did advise them to think about taking some security measures, which they did by adding the grill to the window. Having said that, this is a one-off instance. I am aware of concerns the people using the mosque have, and I am keeping an eye on the building and making sure that there are regular high visibility patrols in and around the area.”

This is South Wales, 17 April 2012