TESCO is investigating a paramedic’s complaint that staff refused to help children trapped inside a baking car because of “data protection”.
Dave Brand spotted the youngsters “sweating away” inside a “sealed” parked car as temperatures hit 27C.
Fearing for their safety, he noted the registration and went inside the store in Lydney, Gloucestershire, to alert the driver.
But Dave claimed he was told by a security guard that the information could not be used because of data protection.
The paramedic returned to the car and was about to call police to alert them to the fact he was about to break in to “save life” when the mother of the children returned.
At a starting temperature of 27C, the heat inside a sealed car is likely to exceed 38C – 100F – within 20 minutes. After half an hour it could be approaching 48F (120F).
Dave took to Tesco’s community Facebook page to complain about his “awful” experience yesterday afternoon (Sun), writing: “My wife, daughter and I popped in for a few bits following a day out.
“We parked in one of the parent and child spaces and immediately noticed the black car next to us with two unattended young children in it, sweating away.
“The thermometer in our silver car read 27C so I can’t imagine how hot they must have been sealed in that black car. ”
He added: “I immediately went to a member of staff who was in the car park, he took the registration and went to do an announcement for the parent.
“We also mentioned it to the security guard. Very worryingly his response was, ‘Oh we can’t do anything about that for data protection reasons’.
“He then stopped the other member of staff from taking any action. He then said he would look into it.
“I was waiting for an announcement to come out whilst we did our shopping, but nothing ever came.
“It turns out the security guard chose to ignore the situation and decided to make no attempt to help the children.
“This is incredibly dangerous, the mother should be ashamed of herself but so should the Tesco security guard.”
Dave said, that as a paramedic he is well aware of how quickly the children could have become unconscious and died.
He concluded: “Tesco, I’m disgusted. This translates roughly to, ‘We would rather let those children die of heat stroke or be abducted than use our PA system’.
Tesco responded: “I’m really sorry to hear about this really poor experience. I completely understand why you’re annoyed at this as I would be too in this situation.
“I’m glad you reported this to the store so this can be investigated but I find the outcome of this quite unfortunate.
“This should’ve been handled in a completely different way to the way it was this evening and I really do apologise for that. As for the security guard involved in this, we couldn’t legally force the car door to open or do any damage to the car for that matter, however, we certainly could’ve done something about this to have parents come to the car and open the door.
“I will get straight on to logging this for you and starting this investigation.”
On social media, Sara white commented: “Tesco you obviously do need to educate your staff what Data Protection actually means from what Dave mentioned initially.
“No matter how you look at this the action from Tescos is appalling. Whether it be just one person or more from Tesco.
“They, your employees, whether employed directly or indirectly represent the face of Tesco.”