Llanelli’s mosque is set to be covered by CCTV cameras after thugs allegedly “kicked the door in” and followed a group of elderly women inside.
A meeting of the Glanymor and Tyisha Safer Communities Action Group heard how women attending the mosque in Station Road had suffered racist abuse, prompting calls for CCTV coverage. The group was concerned to hear that women in particular had been targeted, and welcomed the news that action was to be taken.
Following the meeting, press officer for Llanelli’s Ethnic Minority Help Association, Anne Stevens-Bevan, said the issue came to a head when a group of elderly women was targeted in September.
“There has been a problem there for quite a long time, and on one occasion some thugs went into the mosque after a group of women,” she said. “Two thugs came behind the women and they kicked the door in. The women were frightened, of course. They were very frightened because they are elderly people and they didn’t know what would happen. They are OK now, but I think they will feel safer knowing there will be CCTV.”
Mrs Stevens-Bevan said she and others immediately got to work on getting extra CCTV cameras in Station Road so the mosque would be covered 24 hours a day, and was delighted to be told the council and police were looking at installing a mobile camera.
“People need to be able to go and practice their faith safely, and as long as I live and breathe I will fight for people to go to their church, chapel, mosque or synagogue,” she said. “When elderly ladies are followed into a mosque by gangs and the doors are kicked open it doesn’t matter what faith you are, you help. It was my duty to do this because it is a hate crime. The information we received was that these thugs were going to start there and then move onto the churches.”
Council community safety manager Kate Thomas said a complaint was received from a resident in relation to an incident at the mosque. “We are now looking at installing one of the mobile cameras there,” she added. “We take incidents such as this extremely seriously.”
This is not the first time the mosque has been targeted. See BBC News, 4 June 2002
And the Guardian, 5 June 2002