Headgear ban deemed unfair

Joseph Daly said a BP service station clerk denied him entry to the store near the corner of High Road and Willeri Drive when he filled up his car recently because he refused to take his cap off.

Mr Daly said the clerk only relented when he pointed out that he could not pay for his fuel otherwise.

He said a woman in a burqa had exited the store as he filled his tank and another man inside at the time wore a turban.

‘I have cancers on my head and I like to wear the cap because of that, but I’m not about to go pointing that out to someone I’m buying petrol from,’ Mr Daly said. ‘I’m not singling the woman out, I don’t hate burqas, but if headwear is banned, it should be all headwear.

‘If it were a religious requirement, I would respect that but I believe it’s a preference, just as it’s my preference to cover my head because of my medical condition.’

A BP spokesman said BP’s policy of not allowing customers to wear hoods, caps or helmets in company-owned and operated stores was common among retailers.

‘In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have this approach, but experience has shown that those intent on committing a crime (robbery or armed robbery) in our stores use hoods, caps and helmets to avoid CCTV,’ he said.

‘We know that the vast majority of people entering our stores have no criminal intent, but in the interests of reducing unnecessary risk to our staff, our approach is no hoods, caps or helmets to be worn in store.

‘BP does not discriminate on the grounds of religion or gender and the approach does not apply to people wearing religious head or face coverings.’

The spokesman said the rule had been in place since 2006 after BP worked with police who had investigated attempted and actual robberies.

‘Since its adoption, the number of robberies and attempted robberies at our stores has fallen significantly,’ he said.