HOMELESS people living in a hotel have been told security will be searching their rooms for microwaves and toasters.

All people sleeping rough in Brighton and Hove throughout the pandemic have been offered accommodation, which includes hotels.

Campaigners have told of their shock after a letter was sent to people living in the the Britannia Study Hotel in Brighton on Sunday, which said security will be sweeping rooms looking for banned items.

Britannia Study Hotel in Western Road

Britannia Study Hotel in Western Road

Banned good include toasters, microwave, weapons, drug paraphernalia and weapons.

Sussex Homeless Support boss Jim Deans, who claimed banned goods also included TVs, said: “Weapons… what are they on about?

“Do they think homeless carry AK47s? The worst they will find is a Swiss Army Knife to open tins in a tent.

“A quick look on the hotel's website shows kettles, use of kitchens, TVs, yet these were all removed prior to homeless going in.

“We supplied the homeless with kettles, TVs and toasters so they could at least self-isolate safely and eat the food we all gave them.

“Really this has to stop if you treat people like this you will only get back what you sow.

“This is using Gestapo tactics against some of the most vulnerable, and we will not stand for it.

“Many are saying the want out, but are scared because they have been told Covid will kill them.”

The letter sent to residents

The letter sent to residents

The letter, which was sent to the rooms, said: “We take this opportunity to inform you that on Monday, February 15, your room will be searched by Concept Security.

“We will be looking for any prohibited items such as, weapon, drug paraphernalia, alcohol, microwaves etc.

“We will also be looking for damage/repairs so these searches will be conducted with a hotel member of staff.

“Anyone found with these items will have the item removed from site, or the item will be held until you departure where it will be handed back to you (microwave, toasters)."

Homeless people have previously told of the help they have received during lockdown in the city’s lockdown hotels.

People living on the streets in Brighton and Hove were left in turmoil after day centres – a primary source of food and sanitation – were shut during the coronavirus crisis.

Brighton and Hove City Council worked with hotels to broker arrangements to house the homeless throughout the lockdown and were given money to do so by the Government.

Outreach services such as St Mungo’s and Arch Healthcare have been working round the clock to ensure those inside the hotels were given support.

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “Concept Security has a contract with the council to help make sure residents we have placed at various venues around the city are kept safe, and also to minimise any potential anti-social behaviour.

“The house rules at these venues are explained in full to residents when they first come to stay.

“In some cases venues prohibit the use of certain pieces of equipment, often for safety and insurance reasons.

“Concept Security’s work includes regular room checks and the removal of prohibited items in order to keep everyone safe.

“The company has acknowledged that the message to residents in question should have been worded in a more sympathetic manner.

“They have apologised to the council for this, and we in turn would like to pass on this apology to the residents who received it.”

A Concept Security spokesman added: "While I'm sure campaigners' concerns for vulnerable residents come from a well-meaning place, they are taken very much out of context and based on misinformation.

"Room checks, for example, are in place to keep both residents, and staff who will subsequently clean those rooms safe.

"As such, only items which are prohibited for insurance reasons (in place for everyone's safety), or which may cause immediate physical harm have ever been or would ever be removed."

"As a company providing security services where vulnerable adults are accommodated, we take pride in placing huge importance on safeguarding, and providing a supportive presence."