An asylum seeker was found with ‘dangerous and inappropriate items’ in his room at the Greenock Hotel requisitioned by the UK government to cope with a surge in claims.
The items – the precise details of which are being kept under wraps – were removed from the man shortly after they were discovered at the city’s Holiday Inn Express, it seems.
But the discovery is shrouded in mystery after the company overseeing the hotel’s operations repeatedly refused to answer a series of questions about it.
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Sources had told our sister newspaper on Greenock Telegraph that the man had flammable liquid and knives in his room.
This complaint was submitted directly to contractor Mears for the business and he chose not to respond to this specific request for clarification.
However, it is understood that the claimant had items to use for cooking which were not considered by Mears staff to be safe or appropriate.
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Mears was repeatedly asked to state precisely what the items were, but the contractor declined to provide details.
They also declined to say whether any further action had been taken on the matter by medical professionals and/or the police.
The newspaper revealed earlier this month that the Holiday Inn Express was to be used to accommodate asylum seekers while their claims are being processed.
The plan was revealed when people who had tried to book rooms there were told none were available as the hotel was full for the next 18 months.
The UK government was in liaison with Inverclyde council over the takeover of the hotel and official documents from local authorities indicate rooms are being used to accommodate male asylum seekers.
Two asylum seekers staying at the hotel were attacked and robbed while walking in east Greenock a fortnight ago
Currently around 50 asylum seekers are housed at the Holiday Inn Express, with plans in place to house up to 71 adult men there in the future.
Inverclyde Council and Police Scotland declined to comment on the discovery of the items deemed dangerous and inappropriate.
A spokesperson for Mears – which specializes in providing housing and social services – said: ‘A service user at the hotel had items in his room which he said were used to cook barbecues at outside the hotel site.
“Staff explained that for security reasons these should not be kept in the room and they have been removed.
“They will be returned when the service user leaves the hotel.
“No danger was presented to others on the hotel site.
“Records are kept of interactions with users of the services and our records are shared with the Home Office.
“Users of our services are entitled to respect and privacy and we do not provide personal information about individuals.”