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Ikea sends travellers flat-packing

The Swedish furniture giant Ikea has begun a policy of ensuring that camping vehicles entering its premises car parks are those belonging to customers of Ikea and not from the travelling community, entering Ikea car parks with the intention to set up camp.

If you believe the DailyMail, the same paper that in their reporting of “gypsies” often slants the reporting to help the reader form the opinion that they are less than human has decided to seemingly take their side against the greedy Ikea corporation in a U-turn that Messrs Cameron and Clegg would be proud of. Obviously, the DM U-turn is a temporary one and they are expected to resume their normal spindoctor rhetoric asap.

Understandably, whilst Ikea maybe screening people entering its carparks to avoid them using the carparks, not as per their intended use but as an illegal camp the DailyMail did just as much when it screened visitors to Ikea in order to get the most shocked customer it could find. Enter Luke Massey, 27, who was ‘astonished when a security guard challenged him on a family outing to their Valley Park store, in Croydon, south London.

Mr Massey said: 'We were honestly gob smacked. Even if they have had problems with travellers using their electricity supply or parking there at night it doesn’t justify the racial profiling of customers at the front door. 'It is not acceptable, I’m disgusted.'

The DailyMail and Mr Massey would have us believe Ikea are akin to Hitler and that Ikea is about to move into the market for large scale, industrial shower complexes but surely there is the possibility that Ikea (as any other land owner) doesn’t want an illegal camp on its car park?

It doesn’t matter that the travellers are gypsies, festivals goers or Derek and Mildred and their 2 kids from Birmingham who decided to swap their usual caravan destination of Newquay Cornwall for an Ikea car park? Their car parks are for customers, not camping.

No doubt the DM in their reporting if another Stan Collymore / Dogging story arose would have us turn against Ikea for ushering Mr Collymore off their carparks in that scenario too, which they would again likely attribute the practice to racial profiling and not the actual case of stopping some dirty old fools from having public sex in their carparks?

Anyone who has ever gone to popular seaside resorts would know that it is the norm to have signs on all the carparks boldly saying “NO OVERNIGHT STAYS” but the moment the location switches from idyllic Newquay to Ikea Croydon and the landowner from Newquay Council to the business Ikea, then its racial profiling and the insinuation of Nazism.

Garry Deakin, Ikea Croydon store manager said: 'Over recent months the travelling community in the Croydon area have been attempting to access the customer car park to set up their mobile homes, which not only has an impact on our customers’ shopping experience, but also poses a health and safety risk due to the build up of human and animal waste.

'After discussions with both the local traveller liaison officer and Croydon Council, Ikea Croydon implemented preventative procedures to secure the car park, including a security officer to patrol the entry to the car park to prevent the mobile homes entering the car park.'

Here is a thought for the DM and Luke Massey, 27 Streatham, would you act differently to Ikea if gypsies, travellers, festival goers, Derek and Mildred and their two kids or any other group were to set up a camp on your property?

DailyMail, 2 Derry Street London W8 5TT - Traveller Camps Welcome!