Please sign my Change.org petition here:
Debenhams have completed an in-house investigation at their store in Portsmouth where the incident occurred.
They’re calling it ‘an accident’:
As we can readily see, this is an exercise in face-saving and arse covering, and the apology goes nowhere near compensating for what occurred. It just doesn’t add up, so just as reminders, if it was an accident:
- Why are security guards doing the cleaning? This is highly unlikely not to say unprofessional for such a high profile outfit
- Why did the guard shout, “Enjoy your waterbed”?
- Why was this ‘accident’ excuse not given when Mr Allen went to see the managers in their office after the event? Why did they pack him off and do nothing?
So what’s basically happened is the Debenhams PR team suddenly have ‘a situation’. It’s a freshly dropped, stinking, inconvenient, threatening cowpat sitting on their reputation that needs to be sprinkled in golden glitter and transformed into an object of desire. So how do they go about it?
By fobbing the public off via the media with a far-fetched excuse for an apology and by doing it in double-quick time so as to avoid a hit on seasonal sales.
So we the public don’t get a report to supplement the alleged ‘investigation’, just a media statement via The S*n, The Guardian, The Independent, The Huffington Post and several others local and national that ALL fail to mention whether the CCTV that is always positioned on large store fronts was switched on and whether it recorded the incident.
No, better not mention that. Let’s see if we can get away with it.
So what the guy needs to do – although it may be too late now – is refuse to accept their apology and their replacement bedding, clothes, etc. and slap in a Subject Access Request in accordance with the Data Protection Act. The data controller – Debenhams – has to answer in full within 40 days by law. He should request all the cctv footage that features him in it between a certain time period and they are statutorily obligated to respond.
Only by doing this will he expose whether he (and we) are being lied to. He could also ask anybody who was there on the day whether they’ll back him up. If you’re reading this and you were there on the day and want to help, look up Mr Russell Lucas Allen’s details on Facebook, and you could request your own cctv footage to help him out:
And finally… here’s what the newspapers are not going to tell us…
The following was easily found on Facebook under the user “Spotted Portsmouth” and represents to us a waaaaaay more likely and believable scenario:
“DEBENHAMS CHRISTMAS SHAME! by Facebook user “Spotted Portsmouth”
Soaking Homeless is ‘Common Practice’ Admits Ex-Employee
An ex-security guard for retail giant Debenhams’ Portsmouth store has admitted soaking homeless people who sleep near the building is, although not official policy, ‘common practice’.
After Spotted Portsmouth broke the story of the rude awakening Russell Lucas Allen received on Box Day morning, when his clothes, bedding, food and dog’s bedding where all soaked in freezing water a former Debenhams’ employee responded.
Ironically the former employee, who has now asked not to be named, who also works as a nightclub doorman, attempted to defend the retailer, telling Spotted, “I used to work security for them so let me clarify – Every morning all homeless that sleep rough in the fire exits are asked to leave several times before the store opens as it’s illegal to have the exits blocked.”
However, his final sentence raised eyebrows at Spotted Towers, “FYI the water is poured from behind the exit under the doors.”
When we spoke to a sales assistant at the department store this morning she admitted it is not the first time this brutal technique had been used by Debenhams security. However, when we asked her for a quote for Spotted Portsmouth she refused to comment further.
Spotted Portsmouth editor MA Goldman was actually in Commercial Road covering the Boxing Day Sales and caught the tail-end of the incident.
“I was there on Monday morning (some may remember the funny pic of the “huge queue” of four people at Primark posted at about 10.15am) and I was aware of a commotion outside Debenhams,” he said.
“As I walked up Arundel Street there was a homeless guy with a Rottweiler in the very last alcove of the store – as far from the main entrance as you can possibly get – and he was very upset and complaining that his stuff was all wet. There was a group of four or five other homeless people around him and they were talking about going to speak to somebody about it.
“So I can confirm that Debenhams wasn’t even open, the guy wasn’t blocking a doorway, wasn’t blocking customers, wasn’t being obnoxious but WAS soaking wet through.”
Several other eyewitness have come forward since the story broke.
Local martial arts instructor Cristian Lopez told Spotted, “I was right there when I heard the poor man complaining about the whole situation. I saw his clothes, bedding – soaking wet.
“Debenhams management and security guards are such scum treating people in such manner. It does anger and upset me that I couldn’t do much as I didn’t know to what extent this matter went on.”
Portsmouth mother Gina Martin told Spotted, “We actually spoke to this man and both my children went and got him food, drink and stuff for his dog out of their Christmas money (I’ve since replaced it) as they could see how badly treated the homeless man was and his poor dog.
“What Debenhams did was beyond disgusting! Nobody deserves to be treated like this any day of the year!”
Clare Beresford said, “Myself and Dani Beresford are both Trustees of Portsmouth Homeless Support. We were walking past this homeless man not long after it had happened. We are putting together an official complaint to Debenhams head office, we have also supplied the man in question with clean, dry bedding for him and his dog.”
Debenhams now says it has apologised to Mr Allen for the incident and supplied him with new bedding and clothing following the altercation. They claim the incident was an “accident” not a policy, although they have employed it on several occasions…”