A charity worker was left with a bitter taste in her mouth after heavy-handed security staff confiscated her £1 bag of sweets.
Rebekah Driscoll brought with her a bag of Haribo Tangfastastic for the event to see Supervet Dr Noel Fitzpatrick at Plymouth’s Pavillions in Devon.
Yet the 25-year-old and her sister said they were treated like ‘terrorists’ as they went through airport-style security checks when entering the venue.
Describing her ordeal, Ms Driscoll said: ‘This episode resembles a tyrannical system not unlike despotic countries such as Russia or North Korea.
‘It has certainly left a bitter taste in our mouths and we will never be visiting Plymouth Pavillions again in the future. ‘
Explaining the incident, she said: ‘I had the Haribo on me. As soon as the security lady saw it – she said we couldn’t take it in and would have to put it somewhere else.
‘We didn’t have a car with us, so we couldn’t put them away for later – so I had to put them in the bin.
‘The woman doing the security checks could see I was upset.
‘They weren’t expensive – but it’s the principle.’
Ms Driscoll asked the security guard why she had to get rid of her sweets and was told it was due to regulations.
She said the pair were looking forward to another night out, this time at the Theatre Royal, where they would not be treated ‘as terrorists at a security checkpoint’.
A Plymouth Pavilions spokesperson said: ‘We would like to apologise to this customer if they felt that as a venue we were too over cautious.
‘We continually review our security measures in conjunction with external agencies and organisations.
‘In line with other venues around the country, Plymouth Pavilions has now introduced a bag policy and staff have been recently trained to deal with this.
‘Overall, the feedback has been extremely positive towards this change and we are pleased that additional security measures have reassured our customers and emphasised the commitment that we show as a venue to making the safety of all our priority.
‘Going forward, we plan to ensure all staff, including those new to us, are fully aware of our prohibited items list that has been in place for a number of years and can be found on our website.
‘We will also only be searching for items that may be classed as “high risk”.’