"Everyone was looking at us like we were terrorists."
A Sikh man was handcuffed at a funfair for carrying a kirpan in public.
Prabjot Singh, of Birmingham, was left “embarrassed” after being kicked out of the North Wales funfair.
Prabjot travelled with friends on July 30, 2021. The families went to Aber Falls before heading to Tir Prince Fun Park in Towyn, Conwy.
Staff at the park spotted the six-inch religious sword around his waist, which Sikhs must wear.
Under the UK’s Offensive Weapons Bill, they are legally allowed to do so for religious reasons.
Family friend Arminder Singh was with Prabjot at the time. He said:
“I was at the front of the line waiting to get on the ride when I heard him [the staff member] say you have to go out.
“I shouted asking ‘what is the matter’ and the staff member said this man is wearing a knife.
“He used the word knife. And said it’s not allowed.
“I explained that it’s legal under UK law and they said they can’t allow it in case anyone gets injured.
“He [the staff member] said okay and didn’t debate too much with me.
“When the ride started he reported that he had a knife to police, which they reacted to and four or five cars arrived before the ride had even finished.”
After Arminder got off the ride, his daughter ran over to him and said “daddy the police are here”. Prabjot was then handcuffed.
“Everyone was looking at us like we were terrorists.
“My friend’s wife was in tears, everyone got very nervous.
“Without listening to anything they put him in handcuffs, it was very embarrassing.”
Because Prabjot does not speak much English, Arminder spoke with officers and explained the situation.
Once officers had looked into the explanation for the kirpan, they released Prabjot and handed him a receipt for his detention.
Despite being released by police, Arminder claimed the owner of Tir Prince escorted the group out of the park.
The owner apologised and refunded them for their visit but would not allow them to enter the park with the kirpan.
Arminder also alleged that the owner would not allow any other Sikhs to enter the park in the future.
He told North Wales Live:
“He was not willing to let us in, we were very disappointed and made the 110 mile trip home with sad faces.”
When asked about the incident, Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said:
“I have been personally briefed on this incident as I recognise both the religious and cultural sensitivity.
“We are reaching out to the gentlemen affected to discuss the circumstances with him and we will understand and take on board learning for the force”
North Wales Police said in a statement:
“Officers were called to report of a man in possession of two knives at a busy amusement park in Towyn last Friday.
“When questioned, the man explained the circumstances of him carrying a kirpan as part of his Sikh faith.
“The officers were aware of the legal exemption for kirpans and having obtained the explanation they provided him with an official record of the stop search.
“North Wales Police works with all sections of our diverse communities across the region, and constantly seeks to engage over culturally sensitive issues which include consultation with colleagues from the Sikh Police Association, and the Black and Asian Police Association.
“Our officers receive extensive training on these issues, but we will always look to maximise any learning opportunities from each and every incident.
“The force is in the process of trying to contact the gentleman concerned, to address any ongoing concerns he may have.”