The British Retail Consortium has backed Home office plans for the police to operate short-term jails in shopping centres and supermarkets.

Responding to the Home Office's consultation on modernising policing powers, the BRC said: “It should be compulsory for retail shopping centres to provide these facilities and it is vital that they operate against strict criteria.”

However, the BRC also warned that retailers did not want to end up “becoming a babysitting service” for people taken into custody and although retailers would provide space for cells, funding, upkeep and management should be the responsibility of the police, according to reports in The Times.