Leading supermarket group Sainsbury’s has today alleged that the police could have been liable to pay it £1 million due to damage caused by last month’s riots, if it had made a claim.
However it has said that it will not seek compensation under the Riot (Damages) Act, deciding that it would be wrong to place additional financial burdens on already stretched police resources.
Riots which hit London and several other major cities in the UK, saw countless retail properties vandalised and looted with an total estimated cost to the sector of £141 million.
Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King said: “Like many other businesses, we could have claimed against the police under the Riot (Damages) Act.
“But we think it would be far better for the police to focus on the claims made by small local businesses, and settle them swiftly and in full.
“It’s wrong to divert resources away from front-line policing at a time when our communities need the police to put their energy into rebuilding and restoring confidence in our high streets.”
An extra £100,000 is now to be paid by the grocer into the Community Grants Fund to regenerate the 105 Sainsbury’s stores affected by the disturbances.
Earlier this week Sainsbury’s announced the appointment of a new Director of Property Development, with Philip Bell-Brown joining from Dixons Retail where he was Group Property Director.
The supermarket chain confirmed that Bell-Brown will help it secure sites to achieve King’s ambitions to significantly expand store selling space in both food and non-food.
Bell-Brown commented: “Sainsbury’s ambitious expansion plans for the next few years have been well publicised so it is a very exciting time to join.
“Sainsbury’s property team has a well earned reputation for not only meeting the challenging targets it is set but at the same time always taking an approach that focuses on the communities served by its stores.”