Shopping centre’s shock at criticism of handling of knife attack in Skegness

The Hildreds Centre in Skegness. ANL-170928-110826001
The Hildreds Centre in Skegness. ANL-170928-110826001

A witness claims she was horrified when security staff failed to come to the aid of a staff member held at knifepoint by a robber in a Skegness shopping centre.

The woman, who has asked not to be named, says she was in Home Bargains when she saw the assistant from the Vodafone shop in the Hildreds Centre catch up with the robber.

She said: “The assistant caught up with the robber and got hold of his coat or hoody. The robber spun round and thrust this long knife up to the assistant’s cheek.

“I thought ‘oh my God, what now?’ Then the robber ran off into the car park.

“There are four security guards in the Hildreds Centre and not one of them helped the assistant - and he was only young.

“Two of them were in the Pandora shop helping someone who was sick, but where are the priorities? I certainly don’t feel confident about shopping there again.”

Police are appealing for information after the incident at the Hildred’s Centre in Lumley Road at 1.30pm on Wednesday.

The offender is believed to have stolen an Iphone X valued at around £1,000.

Hildreds Centre manager Steve Andrews said: “This comment saddens me. We were called to an emergency first aid situation where someone had collapsed in one of the shops moments before the incident in Vodafone. When we receive a message that a casualty has collapsed we have no idea what the symptoms are until we arrive. We have to take the first aid kit and defib with us to be prepared for any eventuality.

“At exactly the same time as we were attending the emergency, the incident in Vodafone happened. We could not just leave the casualty to deal with another incident as we were still assessing the casualty’s condition and it would have been very dangerous for the casualty if we had done so.

“My staff attended as soon as the ambulance arrived and we were able to pass the casualty on to them. We have a legal and moral duty and obligation to the casualty to ensure that we do all we can to help in situations like this.

“As far as the incident in Vodafone, we do not provide security for any of the shops. The shops are responsible for their own security and should have their own security staff if they feel that they are needed. We will, and do, give assistance when and if we are able. Under normal circumstances we would have been able to help, but this was an extraordinary situation which has never happened before in 30 years of the Hildreds being open. To say that someone has no confidence in the security staff is unfounded as they’ve attended many incidents over the years, given lifesaving assistance and security to shop staff, police / emergency services and the public.”