Tesco bans pupils after shoplifting

editorial image

School children have been banned from entering a supermarket unless accompanied by an adult.

Pupils from Kettering Science Academy have been told they are not allowed to enter the Tesco Express store in Windmill Avenue without an adult, after a number of thefts and abusive behaviour towards staff.

Tesco said the decision had not been made lightly but the way some school children had acted in the store was “unacceptable”.

One mother with a 14-year-old son at the school, who asked to remain anonymous, said she was not happy with the supermarket’s decision.

She said: “I’m disgusted that my son won’t be allowed into the store any more.

“We often ask him to bring home a pint of milk or a loaf of bread on his way home.

“He goes to church, he doesn’t shoplift or anything so why should he be barred too?

“I don’t think Tesco should be allowed to do this.”

Signs in the shop’s window also explain that only two children, regardless of their school, are allowed inside at any one time, unless with an adult.

The decision was made by the store’s manager but was sanctioned by the supermarket chain’s head office, following incidents of shoplifting and intimidating behaviour.

A spokesman for Tesco said: “Our stores exist to serve customers and so restricting people from shops is always a last resort.

“We are taking these measures in this instance following a spate of thefts and intimidation of our staff, which is unacceptable.

“We have discussed this matter with the school and the local police and hope to see a resolution to this issue soon.”

Staff at Premier newsagent, on the corner of Windmill Avenue and Mill Road, confirmed that school children often cause trouble for shopkeepers and said they were not allowed into the store unaccompanied.

Martin Campbell, principal at Kettering Science Academy, said: “We have helped the supermarket potentially identify a number of individuals who they may be taking legal action against.

“This issue lies with Tesco and if this is what they believe is the right course of action then that is up to them.

“It is not unusual for shops near schools to put signs up or employ security guards.”