UK

Woman in quarantine hotel is sexually harassed by guard who offered to ‘entertain’ her 

A woman quarantining at a hotel in Birmingham claimed she was sexually harassed by a security guard who offered to ‘entertain’ her and sat outside her room door.

Lorna Farmer, 28, from Northamptonshire, left the Hilton Garden Inn at Birmingham airport last week after she claimed she was sexually harassed by a security guard.

She said she started receiving unwanted attention from a guard employed by Mitie soon after arriving at the hotel on July 25, the BBC reported.

Ms Farmer, who was quarantining in the hotel after arriving from Dubai, claimed the guard asked to see her in her pyjamas, asked to enter her room, repeatedly knocked on her door and sat on the floor outside her room.

Travellers currently have to spend 10 days at hotels to quarantine after returning to the UK from red-list countries, where coronavirus infections remain high.

Lorna Farmer, 28, from Northamptonshire, left the Hilton Garden Inn (pictured) at Birmingham airport last week after she claimed she was sexually harassed by a security guard

The latest allegation comes after four women claimed they were sexually harassed by G4S security guards while quarantining in hotels in the UK.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Social Care has reportedly said it will introduce a new phone line to allow women to confidentially report harassment.

Ms Farmer said that despite the Government last month saying that female guests would get female guards, she was only escorted outside on exercise breaks by male guards.

Guests are allowed to leave their room once a day for exercise but must be accompanied by guards.

Ms Farmer told the BBC that during their exercise breaks, another guard had also made lewd comments to female guests. 

She also claimed that while she was cleaning her room, the guard said: ‘Why don’t you put that Hoover down and I’ll come in and entertain you.’

She said the security guard then repeated this request another five times within the space of just 10 minutes.

Ms Farmer said the guard was removed when she complained to the head of the security team in the hotel, and she also reported the harassment to Northamptonshire police.

Ms Farmer, who was quarantining in the hotel after arriving from Dubai, said she started receiving unwanted attention from a guard after arriving at the hotel on July 25 (stock image)

Ms Farmer, who was quarantining in the hotel after arriving from Dubai, said she started receiving unwanted attention from a guard after arriving at the hotel on July 25 (stock image)

Ms Farmer got her father to come and collect her and drive her home, as she said she felt unsafe in the hotel.

But after spending the weekend at home, she was called on Tuesday by an official who said West Midlands Police were looking for her and she faced a £10,000 fine for breaking quarantine.

She was accompanied to another quarantine hotel, the Crowne Plaza NEC, where she said she was taken outside for exercise by a female guard, but she claimed she only saw male guards in her corridors.

Mitie told the BBC that there were female officers on shift and there was a female guard on her floor, in accordance with DHSC guidelines.

A spokesperson for Mitie told MailOnline: ‘We expect high standards from our Security Officers, all of whom are fully trained, including on the behaviours required of them, before they are deployed to work at designated quarantine hotels. 

‘We have also rolled-out specific training on supporting lone or vulnerable guests, which all existing and new colleagues are required to complete.

‘Should a complaint be raised by a guest a full investigation is carried out. 

‘In this case, the investigation found that the Officer had not followed our procedures and therefore is no longer working on the contract.’

A Mitie spokesperson also told the BBC they could not share personal information about the staff when asked if the guard is now working at another quarantine hotel.

Ms Farmer got her father to come and drive her home as she felt unsafe. This week, she was accompanied to another quarantine hotel, the Crowne Plaza NEC (pictured)

Ms Farmer got her father to come and drive her home as she felt unsafe. This week, she was accompanied to another quarantine hotel, the Crowne Plaza NEC (pictured)

The Hilton Garden Inn emphasised that security firms were contracted by the DHSC and fell outside its responsibility.

While the DHSC told the BBC: ‘Sexual harassment or abuse is completely unacceptable and totally abhorrent. 

‘We take all such allegations extremely seriously and we expect providers to take firm action – including suspending staff or reporting them to the police where appropriate – as has happened in this case.’

Ms Farmer was allowed to return home and leave the hotel on Thursday, 11 days after she arrived in the UK from Dubai. 

MailOnline has contacted the DSHC and Hilton for comment.

The DSHC also said a new confidential reporting line would be available by solo female guests, which would be staffed by trained police officers.

In July, the DSHC also said that female guests should be accompanied by female guards, or if this is not possible, by two male guards who would ‘chaperon’ each other to ‘ensure appropriate behaviour’. 

It comes after four women alleged they were sexually harassed by G4S security guards while quarantining in hotels in the UK.

One claimed a security guard asked for a hug, while another said a guard mimed having sex while they were alone together in a lift. 

The women had to spend 10 days at hotels to quarantine after returning to the UK from red-list countries, where coronavirus infections remain high.

They each say during their stays they were made to feel ‘horrified’, ‘uncomfortable’, ‘frightened’, ‘insecure’ and ‘nervous’ by male security guards.

Marie Sidwell (pictured), 28, was returning to her home in Nottingham after working as a nurse in Dubai during the pandemic. As she quarantined at the Pentahotel in Reading she had a number of parcels delivered to her room by security staff

Marie Sidwell (pictured), 28, was returning to her home in Nottingham after working as a nurse in Dubai during the pandemic. As she quarantined at the Pentahotel in Reading she had a number of parcels delivered to her room by security staff

Katherine Godolphin (pictured), 46, was alone in a lift with a security guard when she says he touched his genitals and mimed having sex

Katherine Godolphin (pictured), 46, was alone in a lift with a security guard when she says he touched his genitals and mimed having sex

Marie Sidwell, 28, was returning to her home in Nottingham after working as a nurse in Dubai during the pandemic. As she quarantined at the Pentahotel in Reading she had a number of parcels delivered to her room by security staff.

She told the BBC the first guard acted appropriately, dropping the parcel outside the door, knocking and standing back. But 15 minutes later another, younger, guard delivered a second package.

Instead of standing back, Ms Sidwell said he asked whether he could give her a hug, questioned whether she was a fan of cricket, asked if he could take a photo of them together and told her she reminded him of someone.

‘I took a step back into my room and he stepped towards me and said, ‘Can I have a hug?’ and he was coming towards my room. I was pretty panicked and quickly shut the door,’ she said.

The guard did not leave straight away, and she watched through the peephole as he stood outside her door. 

Ms Sidwell called the hotel reception and was told she would not have to see the guard again, but four days later he allegedly appeared at her door with her Deliveroo order. 

Guests are allowed to leave their room once a day for exercise but must be accompanied by guards. Ms Sidwell said she stayed inside for the rest of her time at the hotel, before she was eventually free to leave on May 30.

Amy (pictured), who did not want her surname reported, was staying at the Grand Park hotel in Heathrow on May 15 when a guard allegedly told her she was 'smoking hot'

Amy (pictured), who did not want her surname reported, was staying at the Grand Park hotel in Heathrow on May 15 when a guard allegedly told her she was ‘smoking hot’

Katherine Godolphin, 46, was staying at the Heathrow Bath Road Holiday Inn after returning from work on a conservation and anti-poaching project in Zimbabwe when a guard ‘made kind of humping motions at me’ while they were alone together in a lift.

She said ‘he was just disgusting’ but she thought it was an isolated incident and did not report it.

The next day, as she was again accompanied by the same man on her exercise break, she said he made an angry remark about the security camera, turned around, touched himself and complained his testicles were burning and he needed to ’empty’ them.

‘I was just absolutely horrified,’ she said.

Ms Godolphin said she complained and a representative of G4S said they would look into it. She never heard whether any action had been taken.

A G4S spokesperson said: ‘We expect the highest standards of conduct from our staff and we do not tolerate behaviour that undermines the good work of our teams, who continue to play an important role in the national response to the pandemic.

‘Should we be made aware of any wrongdoing, robust procedures are in place to ensure the employee is removed from the site while an investigation is carried out by G4S and if appropriate, the police.’

Amy, who did not want her surname reported, was staying at the Grand Park hotel in Heathrow on May 15 when a guard allegedly told her she was ‘smoking hot’.

She said he asked for her number and asked her out on a date.

Janet Wheeler, who quarantined at the Delta Hotel by Marriott in Milton Keynes, claimed the first room she was given had bed bugs and as she was moved to another she was harassed.

Janet Wheeler (pictured), who quarantined at the Delta Hotel by Marriott in Milton Keynes, claimed the first room she was given had bed bugs and as she was moved to another she was harassed

Janet Wheeler (pictured), who quarantined at the Delta Hotel by Marriott in Milton Keynes, claimed the first room she was given had bed bugs and as she was moved to another she was harassed

During the transfer of rooms she was locked out and left alone in a corridor with a guard for 20 minutes. She said he asked if she was married, whether she was travelling alone and if she liked black men.

‘It made me feel frightened, insecure,’ she said. ‘I couldn’t get away and I couldn’t get back in the room. There wasn’t even anyone I could call.’ 

The hotels involved say they were not responsible for the security guards, and representatives of the Park Grand, Marriott Hotel and Radisson hotels said they took the allegations seriously.

Marriott said there were no bedbugs found in Ms Wheeler’s room but it has been heat-treated. 

A government spokesperson said: ‘Allegations of sexual assault are taken extremely seriously. The government continues to ensure every person in managed quarantine gets the assistance they need, and will support any investigation.

‘We expect hotels to do their utmost to take any necessary steps to address and investigate concerns raised by guests, including the behaviour of security contractors, as well as the overall quality of service.’


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button