Father Questioned After Booking Hotel Room With His Daughter

An outraged father has hit out at the way he was dealt with when checking into a Travelodge hotel with his daughter.

Widower Craig Darwell, 46, booked a double room, since no other rooms were available in Chertsey, Surrey, with 13 year old daughter Millie, for a pre-planned trip to Thorpe Park.

However, upon checking in, suspicious staff asked that he show them his daughter’s ID.

Mr Darwell explained that he did not have ID for his daughter and instead showed staff pictures of them together when she was a baby.

But even after seeing them, staff called the police and he and his daughter were forced into separate rooms and interviewed by a police officer.

Speaking to a national newspaper he said:‘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.’

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.’

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.