Public to stand up against Kingdom Security "stalking and bullying" tactics

Reporter:

Patrick Glover

A former Llandudno mayor has labelled actions by a security group as “disgusting” and “a form of bullying” and is pushing to have them removed from the area.

Kingdom Security were appointed by Conwy County Borough Council six years ago to monitor and fine people if they littered in public, walked their dogs without a lead or allowed their pets to foul in public.

However Councillor Carol Marubbi believes the group has gone too far and labelled their tactics as “threatening” and “bullying”.

Having heard stories from fellow concerned locals Cllr Marubbi is staging a formal protest through the streets of Llandudno on Saturday, September 30, and says everyone is welcome.

“We have never had anything like this in my lifetime, where security groups revert to what is effectively stalking – it is disgusting, people living here are scared.

“We are hoping to get thousands to this protest and get the council to sit up and listen.”

Cllr Marubbi said Llandudno Town Council had even put in a letter to Conwy County Council asking for Kingdom Security to be withdrawn immediately.

This letter was sent around a month ago and there has still been no response.

Llandudno resident and bed and breakfast owner Peter Rourke has also got behind the cause and is pushing to have Kingdom Security stopped.

He said the locals felt unsafe but the bullying tactics from the security group were also affecting tourism within the area.

Mr Rourke said: “They (Council) need to make a decision and they need to do it quickly.

“This (Llandudno) is a tourist town and without them coming in no one here has a job so this is the most important decision the council have to make.

“There is nothing more important than how to make life better for tourism, it should be easy.

“They have got a problem, I’ve given them an answer now it is up to them to make the decision.”

Mr Rourke has been in talks with the council and made a number of proposals towards removing Kingdom Security.

He said that if nothing is done in the next two weeks he will begin distributing posters telling the public to ignore the security group and simply walk away if they try and talk to you.

Local Assembly Member (AM) Janet Finch-Saunders has also raised her concerns about Kingdom Security.

She welcomed the idea of a second protest and said: “The protest march has been arranged really goes to show the strength of feeling on this issue.

“Despite reassurances from the leader and cabinet member of a softer approach being forthcoming, people feel that the response from Conwy County Borough Council has not been clear enough, and that it is business as usual by Kingdom.

“I am still receiving complaints from constituents who have been extremely distressed and upset by the enforcement of these orders on a daily basis. People are being penalised and feeling criminalised, through no fault of their own.

“Despite the council advising that Kingdom officers were to be advised to only issue a fine if a request to comply with an order was directly ignored, very little information has been made public on this.”

Despite the public concern on the matter Conwy County Borough Councillor Mark Baker said they have been listening to the concerns of residents and responded accordingly.

Cllr Baker said the extreme actions from Kingdom Security may have been historically correct however the 2017 cabinet had introduced a new educating approach which was achieving positive results.

The cabinet member for communities at Conwy County Borough Council said: “The number of fixed penalty notices issued this summer for dogs off leads has dropped considerably thanks to our new approach of education and prevention.

“Eight fixed penalty notices were issued in June for dogs off leads in designated areas; 13 were issued in July – compared to a huge 147 in May, prior to the new cabinet being formed.

“Officers from Kingdom are still patrolling and enforcing the dog control orders however, where appropriate, flexibility is used to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice if a request to either remove the dog from the area or to put the dog on a lead in a designated area is ignored or refused.

“This is a far more fair and considered approach.”

Later this month, the council will be reviewing the dog control orders and are currently arranging a public consultation.

Cllr Baker said it will be an opportunity for everyone to have their say, and for the council to debate its approach to enforcement.

He added that he welcomed the protest walk on September 30 saying it would provide an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of the consultation.

A former Llandudno mayor has labelled actions by a security group as “disgusting” and “a form of bullying” and is pushing to have them removed from the area.

Kingdom Security were appointed by Conwy County Borough Council six years ago to monitor and fine people if they littered in public, walked their dogs without a lead or allowed their pets to foul in public.

However Councillor Carol Marubbi believes the group has gone too far and labelled their tactics as “threatening” and “bullying”.

Having heard stories from fellow concerned locals Cllr Marubbi is staging a formal protest through the streets of Llandudno on Saturday, September 30, and says everyone is welcome.

“We have never had anything like this in my lifetime, where security groups revert to what is effectively stalking – it is disgusting, people living here are scared.

“We are hoping to get thousands to this protest and get the council to sit up and listen.”

Cllr Marubbi said Llandudno Town Council had even put in a letter to Conwy County Council asking for Kingdom Security to be withdrawn immediately.

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