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'Gypsies not allowed' in UK Ikea car park

'Gypsies not allowed' in UK Ikea car park

Published: 18 Jun 2012 16:41 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Jun 2012 16:41 GMT+02:00

An Ikea store near London has come under fire for its policy of questioning drivers about whether or not they are “gypsies” before allowing them entry to the store's car park.

Luke Massey, 27, was incensed after he was stopped trying to drive his caravan into the car park of an Ikea' store located in Croydon, South London, wrote The Independent newspaper.

According to Massey, he was asked by a car park security guard if he was a gypsy, to which he responded no.

As a result, he was allowed to park his vehicle.

When Massey confronted the guard later, he recorded the conversation in which he asked the attendant what would have happened if he had responded yes.

“If you said yes then I wouldn’t have let you in,” the guard replied.

"We are stopping them because they are coming in and taking things off our loyal customers, that is why I'm here in the car park."

Massey was outraged angered with what he calls “racial profiling”, and shocked at the policies of the Swedish furniture retailing giant.

"We were honestly gobsmacked,” said Massey to the the Telegraph.

“Even if they have had problems with travellers using their electricity supply or parking there at night it doesn't justify the racial profiling of customers at the front door. It is not acceptable, I'm disgusted."

Upon hearing about the incident the chair of the Gypsy Council in the UK slammed Ikea's policy, saying the Swedish retailer "should be ashamed of itself".

“Gypsies have been part of this country for hundreds of years, it is not right that a Scandinavian firm can come to do business here and discriminate against sections of the indigenous population," council chair Joseph Jones told the Independent.

"It is open season against Gypsies and Travellers, the politicians have signalled that, so they can do what they want."

Meanwhile, Croyden store manager Gary Deakin has stood by the guard’s actions.

"(It) not only has an impact on our customers' shopping experience, but also poses a health and safety risk due to the buildup of human and animal waste,” he told the paper.

Carole Reddish, the head of Ikea in the UK and Ireland, agrees with this sentiment.

She told the TT news agency that Ikea welcomes all customers, but that the parking places were not suitable for overnight guests.

“If we have a reason to believe that someone is planning to stay for a longer time in our parking spots, we will politely ask that they move on,” she said.

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Your comments about this article

17:27 June 18, 2012 by canuk
yes this has a lot to do about sweden. great reporting TheRag.....
17:36 June 18, 2012 by skogsbo
and the problem is? A private business want to control who parks in it's private car park. Perhaps it wants to control theft and litter problems? At least it has the back bone to stand up for something, more than UK Police or the government is prepared to do, for fear of being labelled as this that and the other --ists...
17:40 June 18, 2012 by Mb 65
Great and about time to.
18:47 June 18, 2012 by lena_sverige
I wonder if this Massey changed his mind if he'd been robbed..
20:18 June 18, 2012 by spg
Has Massey ever seen a site after the gypsies have left? Its a pity the people who own sovala race track dont have the same policy. It would save Bromma airport a lot of hassel!!
20:36 June 18, 2012 by gpafledthis
Another idea you might consider giving the sweedie equal of a "green card" (work permit) to a couple hundred Arizona & NYPD police officers for a sort of 3 week "worcation" (1 week work/2 week free vacation) Under the proven fact that "a new broom sweeps cleaner" !! Look around ya got a lot of "social lint" (we call dust bunnies) Like electrolux sux so does your enforcement of laws (Law Enforcement guys are Ok)
21:22 June 18, 2012 by johan rebel
What's wrong with profiling to keep undesireables out of a parking lot?

A group of people with a well-deserved reputation for crime, vagrancy, begging, and leaving behind a mess almost wherever they go should stop whining and whinging about "racism" and strive to become law-abiding model citizens instead.
01:47 June 19, 2012 by comeslate
The Man came to UK. Put some money down and opened IKEA, Helping community with decent prices and creating jobs for local. Paying his taxes and his rent on time. Now he wants to protect his business from bums. If I were IKEA I would ask for 1000 Krona in their valet and two pieces of credit cards that matches their ID.
09:36 June 19, 2012 by Da Goat
Yes Luke Massey needs to take a bottle of lube in one hand and a firm grip with the other!

one does not necessarily need to let undesirables into your house or your shop! that is why there is a security industry DUH!
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