Last year scuffles broke out at a number of stores across the UK as huge crowds grappled for cut-price televisions and other big-ticket items, the Metro reports.
Officers will attend shops where necessary, but should be considered as “a last resort” the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said in a letter to retailers reported by The Telegraph.
Last year’s chaos around the event prompted Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, to condemn lax security arrangements in place to cope with the huge crowds.
Now deputy chief constable Sue Fish, of NPCC’s Business and Retail Crime unit, has warned sales should be appropriately staffed and said police are not a substitute for in-store security.
“The police will intervene if necessary to protect public order and safety,” she said.
“But we should be the service of last resort, not a substitute for carefully-considered in-store security plans.
“Having to deploy officers to deal with the fallout of highly-marketed but under-staffed sales in shops diverts valuable resources from other areas of policing and is in most cases avoidable through advance planning.”