Chaos and violence marrs Black Friday across country – Telegraph.co.uk

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Chaos and violence marrs Black Friday across country – Telegraph.co.ukby wpjljron.Chaos and violence marrs Black Friday across country – Telegraph.co.ukBut police were heavily critical of the stores for relying on them to step in, saying they were already overstretched and the problems should have been foreseen. Greater Manchester Police were called to seven Tesco stores across the region and made three arrests for suspected assault and public order offences. At one store a shopper […]

But police were heavily critical of the stores for relying on them to step in,
saying they were already overstretched and the problems should have been
foreseen.

Greater Manchester Police were called to seven Tesco stores across the region
and made three arrests for suspected assault and public order offences.

At one store a shopper had her wrist broken in the melee, while a woman in a
wheelchair at the Stretford branch had a large television dropped on her. A
security guard was believed to have been punched.

Ian Hopkins, Deputy Chief Constable condemned shoppers’ behaviour as
“appalling”.

But he reserved his strongest criticism for the managers, saying their lack of
planning was “really disappointing.”

He said: “They should have planned appropriately with appropriate levels of
security to make sure people were safe.

“They have primary responsibility to keep people safe and they can’t rely on
the police to turn up and bail them out and that’s what happened last night.
The police came to bail them out.

“I’ve spoken to senior executives at Tesco, who are assuring me they will
learn lessons from this and work with us to make sure this doesn’t happen
again.

“I just wanted to make the point to them that Greater Manchester Police has
lost 1,500 officers over the last three years. We can ill afford to be used
to bail out corporate organisations that could have predicted this and
planned for it effectively.”

Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable, added: “The events of last night were totally
predictable and I am disappointed that stores did not have sufficient
security staff on duty.

“This created situations where we had to deal with crushing, disorder and
disputes between customers.

“It does not help that this was in the early hours when police resources are
already stretched.”

Officers were also called to branches in London, in Edmonton, Willesden and
Surrey Quays, to deal with large crowds.

At Asda in Wembley, North London, customers fought over cut-price televisions,
8,000 of which were sold across the chain’s branches within an hour of the
doors opening.

More than two million shoppers visited Asda stores during the day, with queues
forming outside some from 3am.

This year’s sales were expected to triple last year’s takings by the retailer.

Footfall on London’s Oxford Street yesterday morning was up nearly 20%
compared with on Black Friday last year.

Meanwhile those trying to take advantage of discounts online ran into
problems, with shoppers forced to wait to access the websites of Tesco
Direct, Currys and Argos.

A Tesco spokesman said: “Over 600 Tesco stores have Black Friday offers
available in store.

“In the interest of customer safety a small number of these stores contacted
police last night to help control crowds safely and stores are now trading
normally.”

An Asda spokesman said: “We do not condone the behaviour of a very small
number of people in our Wembley store.”

Tesco faced questions last night after Black Friday sales descended into
mayhem and violence, with police chiefs expressing fury that officers had to
“bail them out.”

Across the country, the promotions events were marred by chaotic scenes as
shoppers physically fought each other for the best bargains at a host of
retail chains.

A number of stores opened at midnight, boasting massive discounts on a range
of goods, but carnage ensued as customers scrambled for the best deals.

Customers and shop staff suffered injuries and some stores had to close their
doors in the face of overwhelming demand.

A string of shops called in police to deal with the disorder as security staff
struggled to control the huge crowds.

But police were heavily critical of the stores for relying on them to step in,
saying they were already overstretched and the problems should have been
foreseen.

Greater Manchester Police were called to seven Tesco stores across the region
and made three arrests for suspected assault and public order offences.

At one store a shopper had her wrist broken in the melee, while a woman in a
wheelchair at the Stretford branch had a large television dropped on her. A
security guard was believed to have been punched.

Ian Hopkins, Deputy Chief Constable condemned shoppers’ behaviour as
“appalling”.

But he reserved his strongest criticism for the managers, saying their lack of
planning was “really disappointing.”

He said: “They should have planned appropriately with appropriate levels of
security to make sure people were safe.

“They have primary responsibility to keep people safe and they can’t rely on
the police to turn up and bail them out and that’s what happened last night.
The police came to bail them out.

“I’ve spoken to senior executives at Tesco, who are assuring me they will
learn lessons from this and work with us to make sure this doesn’t happen
again.

“I just wanted to make the point to them that Greater Manchester Police has
lost 1,500 officers over the last three years. We can ill afford to be used
to bail out corporate organisations that could have predicted this and
planned for it effectively.”

Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable, added: “The events of last night were totally
predictable and I am disappointed that stores did not have sufficient
security staff on duty.

“This created situations where we had to deal with crushing, disorder and
disputes between customers.

“It does not help that this was in the early hours when police resources are
already stretched.”

Officers were also called to branches in London, in Edmonton, Willesden and
Surrey Quays, to deal with large crowds.

At Asda in Wembley, North London, customers fought over cut-price televisions,
8,000 of which were sold across the chain’s branches within an hour of the
doors opening.

More than two million shoppers visited Asda stores during the day, with queues
forming outside some from 3am.

This year’s sales were expected to triple last year’s takings by the retailer.

Footfall on London’s Oxford Street yesterday morning was up nearly 20%
compared with on Black Friday last year.

Meanwhile those trying to take advantage of discounts online ran into
problems, with shoppers forced to wait to access the websites of Tesco
Direct, Currys and Argos.

A Tesco spokesman said: “Over 600 Tesco stores have Black Friday offers
available in store.

“In the interest of customer safety a small number of these stores contacted
police last night to help control crowds safely and stores are now trading
normally.”

An Asda spokesman said: “We do not condone the behaviour of a very small
number of people in our Wembley store.”

Source Article from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/shopping-and-consumer-news/11261470/Chaos-and-violence-marrs-Black-Friday-across-country.html

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