By Dave Methold, The Linc

Student prosecution worries as trolley dash turns sour. For some students trolley transportantion saves many an aching arm, but could that be about to change?

As Morrisons revealed plans to prosecute anybody who takes a trolley from their store without permission, some questions might need answering. Why do you pay a £1 deposit on each trolley if you can only use it in store? Will the store just target students or will members of the public be targeted as well?

Morrisons Deputy store manager Dan Turner said in a statement to the Lincolnshire Echo that “Around 40 trolleys went missing on the Saturday before Freshers’ Week.

“We had to bring in extra staff on the Sunday to guard the crossing between the store and the petrol station.Around 30 customers had to be stopped and asked to return their trolley. They used to cost £88 each 12 years ago, so I’d hate to imagine how much they cost now. We notified our head office and a sign arrived the following Wednesday. We haven’t had any trolleys stolen since.”

Matt Bemment, a student living in Pavilions, is unhappy at the decision and believes Morrisons should do more to accommodate students. “If you put the £1 in, you should be allowed to transport your shopping home, especially at Morrisons, where they don’t offer a free home delivery service. I can definitely see why students steal trolleys.”

Other supermarkets such as Asda and Sainsbury’s have not seen an increase in the rise of trolleys disappearing. Tesco has also said that there has been no increase due to hi-tech security measures being introduced last August. Morrisons claim that, 12 years ago, each trolley cost £88 to make and this is why it’s such an important issue as costs have risen significantly since then.

Some will wonder whether the punishment is too big and whether Morrisons could come to some kinds of compromise with students. Surely if Morrisons charged a little more for certain trolleys and allowed students to borrow them home, then everybody wins. This would obviously be on the condition that students bring them back within a certain time period.

One student, who wished to remain anonymous, thinks that this idea would work well. “I think if Morrisons are getting more profit out of it and the students don’t have to carry their shopping home, everybody is happy. I do think Morrisons are making slightly too big a deal out of this as it happened all the time last year and nothing was done. I’ll admit to taking a trolley on a number of occasions.”

Student Mel Rudd also thinks that a compromise could be reached. “I think maybe a small fine to stop people doing it should be the extreme measure. “They could maybe use some sort of numbering system where all the trolleys have individual numbers, then provide student ID or maybe even a £10 deposit. That way, Morrisons would know who has each trolley. I don’t think students would keep the trolley knowing that they would certainly lose £10.”

Just before this article went to print, Morrisons gave a statement to The Linc saying that “There has been a short-term problem with trolleys being taken from our Lincoln store but we are pleased to see that this has significantly improved.” Mezzino did not respond in time for the publication of The Linc.