Police warn they may not be able to afford Tesco's £3m riot compensation bill
Tesco has been criticised by a police force after tabling a request for riot compensation that included a claim for just £40.
It's funny to see the police in this position. They can normally get away with being useless and doing nothing for the people that pay for them, but they're in a position where they're facing a law that will tell them to do it. For once, they don't have a choice.
And so what if one of their claims is for £40? If that's the cost of riot damage then the police had a right to claim it, and at no more than that.
In total, the retailer has asked for nearly £3m in compensation from police forces around the country, following the riots that tore through some high streets in August. It is likely that this is the biggest request from a single retailer.
The company is claiming under the Riot Damages Act, a piece of Victorian legislation that allows businesses and individuals affected by riot damage to claim directly from the police, rather than their own insurer.
Who cares if it's "Victorian Legislation"? It's on the statute books, so Tesco can use it. And I rather like it. Yes, it might mean the police have less money, but frankly they'll piss it away on some diversity bollocks anyway. I'd rather give it to Tesco shareholders (which in reality means our pensions).
In the immediate aftermath of the civil disturbances, the British Retail Consortium urged small retailers to put in their claims to make sure their businesses were not harmed.
However, the Greater Manchester Police Authority, which has been hit with 280 claims totalling £4.4m, has criticised Tesco for using the Act, saying there was no guarantee the police force would be able to afford all of the compensation. The force faces £134m budget cuts in the next five years.Uh no. That's not how it works. If a court rules that Tesco get £4.4m in compensation then you'll pay it. If that means less money on speed cameras or busting narcotics sellers then that's what's going to happen.
And frankly, the Police should be entirely neutral about people enacting their rights under the law.
Peter Fahy, the Greater Manchester police chief, said: "Sainsbury's must be applauded for taking the moral high ground and recovering its own costs.That's a ridiculous comparison. You can get a flu jab, but you can't own a Glock. And in the absence of security guards owning Glocks, it's up to the police to deal with rioting. The response was terrible by the police. They only woke up to what was going on when it was basically over. I'd have some sympathy with the police if they'd stood up to anti-gun legislation in this country, but they never have. They could have told the government that law and order is helped by responsible members of the public owning guns, but they simply never have. They monopolised defending property, so it's down to them to do it.
"I would like to encourage other large retailers to consider Sainsbury's stance. Absolutely we want to help small businesses and sole traders but punishing the police for the disorder is a bit like punishing the NHS when there is a flu epidemic."
There's nothing immoral about what Tescos are doing. Sainsburys probably had lower claims because they don't have so much electronic stuff as Tesco, so not worth the trouble. And morally, why should Tesco get higher insurance premiums because of Police incompetence?
Seriously, I hope Tesco get all they can, and maybe the police can go even further downhill. Take them down far enough and we can get some proper reform in this country.