Shoppers ignore terror advice

SUPERMARKETS, convenience stores and DIY shops will face a mad rush of shoppers if an emergency hits Suffolk as people are choosing to ignore safety tips from the government, it has been revealed today.

SUPERMARKETS, convenience stores and DIY shops will face a mad rush of shoppers if an emergency hits Suffolk as people are choosing to ignore safety tips from the government, it has been revealed today.

Shop owners and managers say there has been no increase in the sales of 'emergency items' such as bottled water and batteries since a Preparing for Emergencies leaflet was delivered to homes across Great Britain over the past few weeks.

The 22-page advice booklet, issued by the Home Office, included a section on items to stock up on to save long queues at the checkouts if a terrorist attack or other emergency was to occur.

But Suffolk residents are not acting on the advice.


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Peter Morley, manager of Morrisons supermarket in Ipswich, said: "We haven't seen any changes in sales.

"Head office told us to make sure we had adequate stock in case there was a rush but there's been no rise."

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Pauline Buckles, manager at Focus DIY store, Martlesham Heath, said: "I haven't heard any customers even mention the leaflet let alone stock up on things because of it. Is anyone?"

Brent Self, manager of the Spar shop on Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, said: "There has been a slight increase in the amount of bottled water we have sold but no one has been in to buy a bulk load.

"Sales were on the up anyway with the weather getting hotter and it's a product growing in popularity year on year.

"I'm sure it's nothing to do with the leaflets."

The list of items people should buy also included ready-to-eat food, a bottle/tin opener, toiletries and sanitary supplies, a battery radio, spare batteries, a torch, candles, matches and a first aid kit.

David Preston, from Solar supermarket in Felixstowe, added: "It seems no one is bothering. We haven't had to make any changes to our orders."

John Scott, owner of Scotts Hardware, Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, said: "A couple of people have said they are buying batteries to stock up but because they have a limited life it would be a waste of time to store them.

"It's only a couple of people and they will have to replace them every two or three years."

The advice leaflet on how to prepare for emergencies also included information on basic first aid, how to cope with specific emergencies and how to help prevent terrorist attacks.

A Home Office spokesman said: "Research showed a clear public demand for information.

"As part of our on ongoing work to provide the public with advice our booklet is a responsible contribution to ensure people are informed in a sensible, practical and helpful way and public feedback to it has been good.

"It is always sensible to be prepared for a range of emergencies."

What do you think? Have you stocked up ready for an emergency? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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