A SUPERMARKET banned schoolchildren from buying bottled water after police complained they were using them to smoke cannabis.
The Sainsbury’s store in Durham put up a note saying school- and college-aged children were banned from buying water “on the advice” of officers.
But the move by the company’s Local store in Framwellgate sparked a huge backlash and the ban was quickly removed.
18-year-old college student Kieran Cairns posted a picture of the notice, alerting locals to the ban that Sainsburys had implemented.
Kieran, from Durham, captioned his post: “This seems a bit extreme, does it not? I’m 18 and can’t buy water for my 3 hour classes cause it’s college time.
“This is in Sainsbury’s, but Premier has also said they can’t sell water before 4pm”.
His post was accompanied with an image of the notice which states: “Due to advice from Durham Constabulary we will no longer be selling large bottles of water to school and college aged children during term time. Thanks for your cooperation.”
Michael Richardson said: “What rubbish. Whatever next? Ban children and college aged students from entering the shop during term time perhaps, on the advice of Durham Constabulary.”
Paul Tug Watson commented: “Sorry but that is basic human need – doesn’t make sense that.”
Hilary Lane posted: “Can they not just buy a large bottle of coke or something to use instead?”
Durham City Police also made a Facebook post, highlighting the illicit use of the water bottles.
In their post, they said: “”If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise, if you go down to the woods today you’d better go in disguise.
“Unfortunately you won’t find a teddy bears picnic.
“But you will find groups of school and college aged children smoking drugs from bottles of water.
“Parents are you aware that some of your children smoke cannabis on a morning before school or college, then pop out at break times and smoke some more, then suck a waterfall on the way home”.
They then attached images of discarded bottles of water strewn across a wooded area, some of which show clear signs have been adapted for use as bongs.
Speaking today, Kieran said: “The ban seems to be an extreme way of the police putting the burden of crime prevention on the shops.”
A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said, “ The store was following temporary guidance from the police, which we understand has been lifted now.”
A spokeswoman for Durham Constabulary said: “We can confirm that the ban was implemented but we can’t provide further comment at this time,”