Norfolk

Security guard who drenched homeless in cold water suspended

Castle Mall Image copyright Google
Image caption One of the main entrances to the Castle Mall shopping centre in Norwich

A security guard who doused homeless people sheltering in an entrance with cold water has been suspended.

Norwich shopping centre Castle Mall investigated reports that a "laughing guard" threw a bucket of water over a group taking refuge in a doorway.

The group were left with clothes and sleeping bags drenched as temperatures fell.

The company providing security guards to the centre apologised and pledged to donate to a local homeless charity.

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The event came to light after Peoples' Picnic volunteers, who provide meals for homeless people, posted on their Facebook page.

'We're very sorry'

The post said: "A few of the guys seeking refuge in a doorway round the back of the Castle Mall were subjected to having a bucket of cold water thrown over them by a laughing security guard.

"Not only did he leave them in soaking wet clothes, freezing and exposed to harsh declining temperatures, but also drenched their sleeping bags which were the only other means of keeping them warm."

Amanda Phillips, centre manager, said Castle Mall had carried out a joint investigation with Interserve, which provides its security guards.

She said: "One of Interserve's employees in the security team has been suspended on the grounds of gross misconduct and is no longer working at Castle Mall."

An Interserve spokesperson said: "We are very sorry for what has happened and are extremely disappointed with the behaviour of this individual, which is against everything we stand for as a company.

"We work closely with several charities for the homeless and take the issue very seriously. We will be making a donation to local homeless charities by way of an apology."

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