Father reported for 'paedophilia' after checking into hotel with his daughter
Hotel staff called police
A widower who checked into a Travelodge with his teenage daughter last week was shocked when a staff member called police, apparently suspecting he was a paedophile.
Craig Darwell (46) had booked a room at the hotel in Chertsey, Surrey, for him and daughter Millie (13) to stay at during a visit to Thorpe Park.
“We checked in and then I had to move my car," Mr Darwell told The Sun. "When I got back to reception the guy started asking me to prove I was her dad. He said it was company policy and I had to go onto Facebook to show messages I’ve sent to her.
"It was bizarre and really offensive. Then he told me that he’d already called police so I had to wait for them to arrive.
"Luckily it took them about two seconds to realise he had got the wrong end of the stick but it ruined the weekend for me."
Surrey Police said: "We were called by a member of staff at the Travelodge on Guildford Street in Chertsey on Thursday, 30 March just after 8pm following a concern for safety.
"Officers attended and made no arrests, no further enquiries will take place.
"Hotels, taxi companies and other licensed premises have recently been equipped with the right knowledge to identify children who could be at risk of exploitation under Operation Makesafe."
A spokesman for Travelodge said: "We take our responsibilities towards protecting children and vulnerable young people extremely seriously.
"Our colleagues are trained based on current national guidelines from the NSPCC, the police and other agencies and in the past, hotel team actions have led to successful intervention to protect young people.
"Clearly fine judgements have to be made and we deeply regret any distress or inconvenience caused to Mr Darwell on this occasion.
"We are undertaking a full investigation into the circumstances and will take careful note of any lessons learned in due course, including additional training where appropriate. In the meantime, we would like to apologise to Mr Darwell for the situation he encountered and we will be making further contact with him as our investigation continues."