Wear ‘balaclava and body armour’ – but crash helmets are banned

Allan Stephens outside Tesco Kingston where he was not allowed in for wearing his motorbike helmet
Allan Stephens outside Tesco Kingston where he was not allowed in for wearing his motorbike helmet
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A TESCO manager became revved up after ordering a motorcyclist to remove his safety helmet in the store, it is claimed.

He allegedly told biker Allan Stephens: “I would be happy if you came in with a balaclava, full body armour, armoured gloves and a baseball bat – but you are NOT allowed to wear a crash helmet.”

“I was open-mouthed,” said 49-year-old Allan, who served for eight years with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers.

He said the manager’s comment came during a discussion about what headgear was permissible in the Kingston store.

Tesco categorically deny the manager made the comment, but Allan says the words were witnessed by his partner via the intercom system in their helmets.

He told the Citizen: “There is a small sign saying ‘no crash helmets’ but I felt this was discrimination against motorcyclists. So I asked whether people wearing turbans, hats, hoodies or burkhas would also be refused entry.

“The manager said he didn’t have a problem with any of these. Then he came out with the comment about balaclavas and body armour. I thought it was crazy.”

Last year the same supermarket asked charity collectors to leave – because they were wearing shorts.

This week a Tesco spokesman said: “In some stores we ask customers to remove their helmets, hoods or hats, so that their faces are visible to colleagues.

“This also means we don’t sell age-restricted products to those who are underage. Our colleagues take a common sense approach to this matter and use their discretion when deciding to enforce it.”