Theft at Kent Removals, Villawood Sydney – Official Statement
29th July, 2016
Kent is devastated by and sorry for Ms Nicole Coates’ loss caused by the criminal actions of a rogue employee, and have expressed our sincere apologies to Ms Coates.
The senior management of Kent has taken Ms Coates’ concerns extremely seriously, with both our CEO and National Sales & Marketing Manager travelling interstate to Sydney to personally answer her questions and address her concerns.
Kent has co-operated fully with the police and all other parties during the process of apprehending the individual responsible for the theft of Ms Coates’ goods. This individual has since been prosecuted, convicted and dismissed from our employ.
Kent also assisted in the resolution of Ms Coates’ claim, which was settled with Ms Coates receiving compensation for her loss.
This was an isolated incident committed by a rogue employee who, with inside knowledge and access, was able to evade our security and perpetrate this crime against Ms Coates. As part of our employment screening process, we conduct police security checks prior to commencing employment.
Kent has successfully moved more than a million people over the last 70 years. We understand the concerns associated with moving house and the importance of entrusting a responsible removalist with the safe care, handling and storage of precious belongings. We are proud of our company values and know that it is a privilege to be entrusted with the safe care and handling of another’s treasures.
Questions Provided by Today Tonight
1) Do you dispute any of the account given by Nicole of her experience with Kent?
Yes we contest the account, but we do understand the significance of Ms Coates’ loss.
2) Why do you not regard the theft and destruction of her possessions as the responsibility of Kent?
This unauthorised, unlawful and criminal act was carried out by a person who was subsequently brought to justice and sentenced for the incident.
3) Why was the Villawood warehouse not more stringently monitored?
The Villawood warehouse has extensive security and the warehouse is monitored by CCTV surveillance.
4) Is it true that employees are invited to “help themselves” to unclaimed boxes and containers?
We deny this statement. Kent does not have any such policy.
5) Has there been any change in policy or warehouse monitoring since this event?
Kent’s policy adheres to quality standards in warehouse security. This isolated incident is not reflective of Kent’s security measures.
6) How do you think Nicole might feel after losing all her personal possessions?
We understand better than most the concerns associated with moving house and the importance of entrusting a removalist with the safe care, handling and storage of precious belongings. We know that it is a privilege to be entrusted with the responsibility of caring for another’s possessions. When an incident like this happens, of course we understand how Ms Coates feels.
7) Are you satisfied with the way in which this matter has been dealt with?
Kent fully co-operated with all parties including the police, and made available our staff information and documents during the process of apprehending the individual responsible for the loss of Ms Coates’ goods. This individual has since been prosecuted, convicted and dismissed from our employ.
Kent fully assisted the insurance companies and their assessors in respect to the claim for loss and damage resulting from the incident, with Ms Coates receiving compensation for that loss.
8) Can Australians feel safe entrusting you with their entire household contents during the course of a move?
Yes. Australians can feel safe entrusting Kent with their treasures, just as they have done for the last 70 years. This was an isolated criminal incident committed by a rogue employee who with inside knowledge and access, was able to evade our security and perpetrate this crime against Ms Coates and Kent totally unforeseen or anticipated by us. As part of our employment screening process, we conduct police checks prior to the commencement of employment.