Security company to patrol Snowdonia as tension between residents and tourists builds
A security company is being brought in to help monitor bad behaviour, littering and illegal camping in Snowdonia as tensions between locals and tourists continue to rise.
As huge numbers opt for a staycation in favour of travelling abroad, parts of Wales have seen large influxes of tourists - in particular, one of Wales' most popular sites, Snowdonia National Park.
Member of the Senedd, Siân Gwenllian, said that something needed to be done to ensure that "residents do not feel unsafe in the area".
It's led to some animosity between tourists and residents, many of whom are still concerned about rising rates of Covid-19 infections in certain pockets of North Wales.
Siân Gwenllian MS said the company will be used to tackle the problems in Llanberis, which has seen a "high level of activity" in recent weeks.
Earlier this week, the Padarn Country Park was left strewn with litter and the ground was scorched by fire after a group camped in the area without permission.
The security company will be employed by Gwynedd Council, whilst police will also be patrolling the village.
"I am pleased to learn that Gwynedd Council will be employing a security company to ensure responsible behaviour in Parc Padarn," she continued.
"I am also pleased to learn that, after the wardens' shifts, the security company will be concentrating on the Glyn area due to complaints of wild camping and crews gathering during the evenings.
"I am also pleased to announce that Gwynedd Council has now arranged for the village street bins to be dealt with twice daily.
"I know that the authorities thank all the volunteers who have been collecting litter and doing their best to keep the village tidy."
The security company is expected to start working before the bank holiday weekend.
A Gwynedd Council spokesperson said: “Whilst the vast majority of visitors to Gwynedd respect our local communities and natural environment, unfortunately a small number do not do so.
“Over the past few weeks, following the relaxation of the Welsh Government’s Covid-19 travel regulations, we have experienced problems with some visitors ignoring the ‘no overnight camping’ rules and leaving litter in Parc Padarn Country Park in Llanberis and on a number of beaches including Morfa Bychan and Abersoch.
“During the daytime, Council staff are on hand to address such problems. However we have recently seen an increase in individuals arriving late in the evening.
“In response, we have commissioned a local security company to patrol these locations outside of normal working hours. The company – which is being used on an ‘as and when’ basis – will be responsible for making sure that visitors respect the rules and contacting North Wales Police if necessary.
“Over the forthcoming August Bank Holiday period, this company will be employed for a period of six nights to patrol at three locations at a cost of approximately £5,000”.