Boycott Debenhams - until security guard who soaked homeless man is disciplined or fired
On Boxing Day 2016, a homeless man, Russell Lucas Allen was sleeping outside a Debenham's store - the location of which is yet to be identified. When he awoke he found his clothing and socks were wet and couldn't understand why. Some donated food in his possession was also apparently ruined.
An unidentified Debenham's security guard appeared telling him he had 10 minutes to leave the site. As the guard walked off he allegedly said, "Enjoy your waterbed."
When he examined his possessions, it appeared that the guard had thrown water over Mr Allen and had soaked his bedding.
To take such callous action against a homeless person is not just cynical but at this time of the year is dangerous and carries a potential threat of hypothermia. At this point in time it appears that neither the local management of the unidentified shop nor Debenhams Head Office will be pursuing disciplinary action against their employee or issuing a public statement in order to acknowledge it happened.
In response, I would suggest that members of the UK public withhold their custom and do not spend their money in Debenhams - right through the New Year sales if necessary - until the organisation meets their obligations as a responsible employer / retailer and acknowledges that the incident occurred, takes disciplinary action against the guard and makes a public apology. It would not be appropriate to identify him in order to protect against possible reprisals.
Only when corrective action has been taken can they be regarded once again as a responsible employer and retailer. I would also suggest that the British Retail Consortium, the trade body for retailers in the UK applies whatever influence it can to remedy the situation, bring it to a fair and dignified conclusion and thereby ensure a deterrent is in place against such cruel and reckless conduct occurring again in the future.
- British Retail Consortium
Boycott Debenhams - until Security Guard who soaked homeless man is disciplined or fired
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