Supermarket tells Norwich toddler - take your hood off

A Norwich two-year-old was asked to take down the hood of his anorak when entering a city convenience store - for security reasons.

But the two-year-old's family have angrily accused shop chiefs of a lack of common sense after he was asked to take down the hood of his anorak for security reasons when entering a city convenience store.

Corey was shopping at the Co-op store on Earlham Green Lane with his mum Stacie and brother Finley, five months; their dad Shane, 22, and uncle Chris Read, 21.

'We'd just gone into the shop to get a few things for our Sunday roast. Corey had been complaining of earache, so he had the hood of his coat up,' said Mrs Read, 23, of Beverley Road, Norwich.

'We were just near the door when the manager said 'Do you mind pulling his hood down? It's just that eight-year-olds will moan that he's allowed his hood up but they are not.' It was especially cold that day and the doors are always open in the shop. I didn't want Corey getting cold as he is prone to ear infections.

'We went into Tesco next door straight afterwards and the security guard there didn't say a thing about Corey's hood.'

Miriam Harrup, spokesman for East of England Co-op, said: 'We are investigating what happened.'

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She said the company had a general policy of asking customers to remove helmets and hoods for security reasons, but that a common-sense approach was usually taken.

It is understood that because the incident took place on a Sunday, the store's regular manager would not have been on duty.

Hoods, hats and other headgear are banned by many shops due to fears over crime and anti-social behaviour, as it makes it harder to identify offenders using CCTV cameras.

Mrs Read said her husband, a factory worker, was annoyed but she urged him not to get involved in an argument over the issue.

Later that day Corey's grandfather Alan Barker, 41, telephoned to store to complain and spoke to the duty manager.

Mr Barker, of Stylman Road, Bowthorpe, said: 'He said, 'We have 90-year-olds who come in and we have to tell them the same thing. This is a bad area and we have a lot of stealing.' Corey is quite a skinny little chap and feels the cold. He's two years old, and he's hardly going to rob the store. We go in all the local shops and that's the first time this has ever happened. The manager should have used some common sense.

'I'm so angry at the Co-op's attitude, especially as the weather is getting worse and Corey has to stay warm to avoid getting ear infections.'

Do you have a story about a bizarre decision by a Norwich business? Contact Evening News reporter Jon Welch on 01603 772476 or email