LETTERS: Where mothers are welcome to breast-feed, with an audience or without Breast-feeding mothers are welcome at CastleCourt shopping centre

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The Independent Online
Your article "Breast is best, but not in public" (28 July) describes how the CastleCourt Shopping Centre's security office viewed two women breast-feeding their babies and sent a cleaner to tell them to move, as breast-feeding was banned in other than allocated areas.

CastleCourt has no policy on breast-feeding in public and nursing mothers are welcome. No member of staff has ever been instructed to prevent women from breast-feeding.They can do so wherever they wish, and a mother and baby room is available for those who desire privacy. To prevent vandalism, it is kept locked, but a notice on the door advises that a female attendant in the adjoining Ladies' Room will open it at any time.

A full investigation was made after this incident was first reported. The management discovered that a security guard, who is not employed by CastleCourt and acting on his own volition, asked a cleaner, who is also not employed by CastleCourt, to advise the two ladies that there was a mother and baby room in the centre. The cleaner approached the twowomen and, in a helpful manner, did so. In order to save them embarrassment, she also advised them that security cameras were in operation.

The centre's CCTV cameras do not watch breast-feeding mothers. The centre's management have viewed the videos from cameras in the area of the incident when it occurred, and the breast-feeding mothers are not on camera.

In closing, I would advise that CastleCourt is an air-conditioned shopping centre maintained at 65 degrees Fahrenheit and that within its public areas there are no "hot and sticky afternoons".

Alex Bell

CastleCourt Investments Ltd

Belfast

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