The next president of the Association of Chief Police Officers has warned the multiples to clean up their act in the fight against yob behaviour.
Sussex Chief Constable Ken Jones is running a four-month offensive against supermarkets and large pub operators that sell alcohol to underage drinkers and promised he would use new licensing laws that come into force in November to get licences revoked if necessary.
Jones said: “I am fed up with the failure of some of the major supermarkets to get their houses in order. Communities are expected to pick up the costs of irresponsible or lax alcohol trading. I am not surprised that the big supermarkets are still
selling to underage drinkers given the widespread marketing of alcohol to young people and the profits being made.
“All too often it is badly run supermarkets that are at the heart of the problem by selling alcohol to underage kids.
“Many have good policies that they fail to enforce. We will be actively looking to prosecute and make examples of those who fail to heed my warning.”
Jones said test purchasing had revealed widespread failures. Sussex Police is increasing operations, including targeted patrols and video evidence, to catch supermarkets selling to under-18s.
Meanwhile, the British Retail Consortium has launched a new campaign that it hopes will force the government and police to take retail crime much more seriously.
SCAR - Stop Crime Against Retail - will call for stronger and more consistent penalties to deter criminals and ask police to modify the system of crime reporting to encourage victims to report crimes.
Fiona McLelland