Security worker suspended following incident at Norwich shopping centre

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- Credit: Archant

A security worker has been suspended following an incident at a Norwich shopping centre.

Castle Mall has this evening confirmed an incident took place on Sunday, and that following this an employee from Interserve - which provides a security service for the centre - has been 'suspended on the grounds of gross misconduct.'

The suspension comes after both Castle Mall and Interserve were investigating claims a security guard threw a cold bucket of water onto a group of homeless people.

A post on the People's Picnic Facebook page alleged a security worker threw the water on people sleeping in a doorway.

The post from the group, which serves food to the homeless and hungry in the city, said: '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.'

After investigating the claim, Castle Mall and Interserve have both issued apologies.

Amanda Phillips, centre manager at Castle Mall, said: 'We have concluded our joint investigation with Interserve, the supplier of our security service. We have found that an incident did occur on Sunday evening, and 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. Everyone in the management team at Castle Mall is very upset that members of the public have not been treated as they should be by someone working on behalf of Castle Mall. We apologise unreservedly to the individuals affected. We all sympathise with the plight of the homeless and the isolated behaviour of one individual should not reflect in any way on the rest of the team. We are now taking this opportunity to review our operating procedures and training practices to make sure nothing like this can happen again.'

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An Interserve spokesperson said: 'Following an investigation into the incident at Castle Mall, we suspended one employee for gross misconduct with immediate effect. 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.'