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'Gypsies not allowed' in UK Ikea car park

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'Gypsies not allowed' in UK Ikea car park
16:41 CEST+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.

The Local/og

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