Retail union alerts stores to risk from drunks

Retail union Usdaw is calling for tighter security to protect shopworkers from drunks who might target supermarkets when they are searching for more alcohol.

Many stores have applied for 24-hour drink licences, which kicked in today.

The union is concerned that supermarkets may become flashpoints as drunk people try to buy cheap alcohol in stores and could be refused by staff legally obliged not to serve customers they believe to be drunk.

“Our primary concern is the safety of our members so we will work closely with supermarkets to make sure that adequate security is in place where stores have a 24-hour licence,” said Usdaw general secretary John Hannett.

“We are concerned that ready availability of cheap alcohol will attract drunks to stores and we will be monitoring this situation very closely to see if our fears are realised.

“We already know that refusing to sell alcohol to under age drinkers is a major factor in many of the 20,000 physical assaults on shopworkers in the UK and we will work hard to make sure that 24-hour licensing doesn’t make the problem worse,” Hannett added.

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