Pensioner, 96, told scooter could be seen as a terrorist threat

By Dave Speck in Local People

A DISABLED war veteran was told his mobility scooter could be seen as a terrorist threat after he left it unattended in a shopping centre.

Ninety-six-year-old Frank Curtis, who was blown up in World War II and helped liberate Belsen concentration camp, sometimes leaves

his scooter parked in The Spires, in High Street, Barnet, while he nips off for a bite to eat or does some shopping.

But when he returned to it recently he found a note from the centre’ s management telling him to stop “dumping” his property unattended and that it was not acceptable “in light of current world terrorist events”.

Mr Curtis, of Hadley Ridge, said: “I find this extremely unreasonable as the area and surrounding high road is filled with parked cars which

could be packed with explosives and form a far greater danger than my open exposed scooter.”

He added: “I do occasionally, when it’ s raining, park my scooter in the ungated portion of The Spires establishment. This is because I frequent a nearby restaurant and shops. ”

A spokeswoman for The Spires admitted that the content of the note had been “inappropriate” and said the matter was being “dealt with internally”. She said a letter of apology had been sent to Mr Curtis urging him not to change his shopping habits.

“The safety and security of shoppers is of utmost concern for the centre management and security team at The Spires shopping centre, ” she said.

“Therefore, on being advised of public concerns raised over a mobility scooter that was often left unattended on the mall over long periods of time, a member of the security team left a note for the owner asking him to remove the scooter in future. ”

Mr Curtis, who was blown out of a bren gun carrier during the liberation of northern Europe, originally wrote a letter of complaint to The Spires manager asking for his views on the matter.

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