Asda agrees every little helps in bid to tackle drink related crime after police force licensing review hearing

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asda image - Credit: Archant

A WISBECH supermarket has been allowed to keep its alcohol licence - as long as it helps police tackle drink-related crime and disorder in the town.

Fenland District Council held a review hearing into ASDA’s alcohol licence after an application by Cambridgeshire Police.

Police say that 27 per cent of shop theft in Wisbech occurs at the North End store which is a huge drain on their resources.

Fenland sector inspector Robin Sissons said: “My officers and I are committed to reducing crime and anti-social behaviour in the town centre of Wisbech. However, we are unable to do it alone. We are reliant on each and every premises being run by responsible people.”

Between January 1, 2011, and February 12, 2013, there were 199 thefts at the ASDA store with 65 of those related to alcohol. Police estimate this translates to at least 750 hours of officer time.

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But Clare Johnson representing ASDA said that this was not a high level of crime when put into context.

“Over a period of 25 months there have been 65 alcohol related offences,” said Ms Johnson. “That is barely more than two a month. This can be put into the context that 33,000 customers come through the store per week.”

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Ms Johnson added that although deterring shoplifters may be good for police statistics it was not what the public wanted to see.

The licensing committee decided to amend ASDA’s licence to include additional conditions which include joining with police campaigns and displaying material to put off shoplifters.

Committee chairman Councillor Kay Mayor said she was disappointed an agreement had not been reached before the meeting.

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