A shop in Deal has defended its decision to ask a customer to take his hood down.
Peter Inglis, 39, of Forelands Square, Deal, was shopping in The Factory Shop, in the town’s High Street when he was asked to take his hood down by a member of staff.
He obliged, but then stated aloud that he thought it was ridiculous, at which point he was asked to leave the shop, which he did.
Man wearing a hooded jacket. Library picture
Mr Inglis later took to social media site Facebook.
His status, which has had more than 40 likes and 40 comments, said: “I said it was ridiculous. I said I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I am a law-abiding citizen.
"I work very hard for my money to provide for my family.
“I am not a shoplifter. I should be allowed to state my opinion when I think I am being treated wrongly.
“It is December after all and very cold outside so need to keep warm. I just forgot I had my hood up.
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“I should be allowed to go in, shop and go about my business as I see fit.
“I am not at all happy about what happened to me, and I will be writing to complain.”
In a statement, the Factory Shop said: “Unfortunately, we have had a serious problem with shoplifting in the Deal area, and while we do not have an anti-hoody policy, we do take precautions if necessary within our stores.
“A member of staff in the store believed a customer wearing a hood to be acting suspiciously and asked him to put his hood down to check his identity against some known shoplifters in the area.
"The customer reacted in an abusive manner and left the store.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused, however, the safety of our customers and staff is of paramount importance and staff are entitled to be able to clearly see the faces of customers in the interests of everyone’s safety.”
Mr Inglis denies being abusive.
Facebook users were divided on the issue.
Was the store right to ask the customer to take his hoody down?
Karen Harvey said: “Why were you asked to put your hood down?
"I am a shop owner and I would never ask a customer to do so.
"Sorry, but you need all the customers you can get and to do this you have lost a sale and maybe a valued customer.”
Ryan Elvery said: "People latch on to insignificant things.
"He was asked to remove his hood. Not an unreasonable request so who cares what would have happened if it was someone else.
“I am not a shoplifter. I should be allowed to state my opinion when I think I am being treated wrongly" - Peter Inglis
"People just love to moan and jump on the bandwagon. I do agree that a clear sign should be in view but no need for a witch hunt it’s ridiculous!”
Terri Compson said: “He wasn’t just asked to remove the hood, he was asked to leave because he attempted to give an opinion!”
Lee-Sarah Sharples said some of the comments were over the top: "I think the person comparing this to someone wearing a burka needs to give his head a wobble.
"I also think that more was probably said between you and the shop attendant to warrant you being removed."