SUPERMARKET bosses in a Dorset town are going bananas after a healthy eating initiative was exploited.

Officers with the Shaftesbury Neighbourhood Policing Team have issued a warning after members of the public took free fresh fruit from Tesco - but failed to do any shopping.

The chain introduced a 'free fruit for kids' initiative for shoppers in July 2016. Since then, tens of millions of bananas, apples and oranges have been handed out to youngsters in need of a snack while their parents do the shopping.

A spokesperson from the Shaftesbury team said: "The free fruit stand in Tesco is being used in the wrong way.

"There is a sign which clearly states that kids can have a piece of fruit while adults are shopping.

"So please do NOT just walk in the store, take a piece and walk out again!

"Please can we respect this lovely thing, or they will take it away."

The warning, posted on Facebook, has been criticised by some social media users.

One said: "Surely you have bigger things to worry about?"

However, another woman wrote: "I actually saw the officer having words with a group of young teenage boys who had answered her back when she'd asked them nicely not to come in to the shop and take the fruit and walk back out.

"They had all waltzed in and grabbed a banana each and waltzed out again stuffing their faces.

"They generally didn't respect the police officer at all and she then literally asked them to read the sign and what it said."