Original article from Kent Live
Bluewater Shopping Centre has apologised after an incident between security and a Black customer on Sunday (June 27).
Cephas Williams was left outraged after being accused of stealing items.
Members of the security team held up Cephas on his way out of the store, and refused to let him leave until he showed proof of payment.
The Kent shopping centre has since apologised for the incident, and revealed Mr Williams has been in direct contact with its chief executive.
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The pair are set to meet soon in order to reflect on what can be done to prevent this from happening to future customers.
"We were saddened to see the video of Cephas Williams’ experience at House of Fraser in Bluewater which has been circulating online. We are sorry that Mr Williams was placed in such an unpleasant and stressful situation," a spokesperson for Landsec, which owns Bluewater, said.
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“We want everyone to feel welcome, safe and respected when they visit our centres. Despite our efforts training our staff and working with our brand partners, we clearly have more to do.
“Since the video surfaced, we have reached out to Mr Williams to discuss his experience further.
"He has also been in direct contact with our CEO – the two of them will be meeting soon to reflect on the lessons we can learn from this.
“In the meantime, we have reviewed our role in this incident and discussions are underway across the business as to how we can do better, including the training we provide our staff and more widely share with our brand partners.
“We would like the thank those that did take the time to provide us with constructive feedback. We recognise that we still have work to do and are committed to doing everything we can to ensure equality and diversity play a central role in our business. We stand against any form of discrimination and continue to work hard to provide positive experiences for our guests.”
Soon after the incident unfolded, Mr Williams expressed his outrage on his Twitter account and has since said he was targeted because of his background.
He said: "On Sunday afternoon, security guards at House of Fraser and Bluewater shopping centre ran after me, grabbed me up, harassed me, grabbed my purchases and accused me of stealing them.
"I’m fed up! This needs to stop."