Store not staffed to prevent alcohol theft

Tuesday November 20th 2018

Store not staffed to prevent alcohol theft

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Workers in a major supermarket said they were unable to stop youths stealing alcohol because they were understaffed, a local councillor has claimed.

Midlothian Councillor Colin Cassidy said he witnessed a group of youths hanging around the alcohol aisle in the store and helping themselves to booze during a shopping trip.

But he revealed that when he alerted staff to the problem they said there was nothing they could do.

Speaking at a meeting of Midlothian Licensing Board, Mr Cassidy said:

“I was in a Dalkeith supermarket and there were a lot of lads around the drinks section, I saw them taking alcohol off the shelves and when I raised it with staff I was told “we know, it is a problem but we only have three staff on”.

“This is a multinational supermarket and I was shocked.”

The board questioned whether shops with alcohol licences should face action if they are repeated victims of theft after Councillor Derek Milligan said elected members heard reports of incidents regularly at local meetings.

He said: “There is theft after theft after theft from off licences.”

A police representative at the board meeting cautioned against deterring off-licences from reporting thefts if they faced potential punishment.

Councillor Janet Lay-Douglas said, in the case of the supermarket, it would make more sense to invest in staff.

She said: “When you add up the amount of alcohol stolen a security guard cost could be covered. It is about having a deterrent.”

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