Police are advising shops they may need extra security guards in the event of a no-deal Brexit if there is panic buying.
Supermarkets and other shops may face crowd control issues if there are fears over food and goods shortages.
It came as Tesco and Marks & Spencer became the latest big names to reveal they are stockpiling packet and tinned foods ahead of March.
Tesco chief executive, Dave Lewis, warned it would not be possible to make arrangements for fresh food if we crash out of the EU.
Yesterday, police warned that supermarkets may have to up their security and should plan for the eventuality.
‘In line with similar advice given at a national level to the retail industry, we are suggesting to retailers that they may wish to consider planning for additional security in the event that concerns about shortages of goods leads to a significant increase in customers,’ a Met spokesman told Politico.
‘We are having these conversations in order to minimize the demands on policing from any resulting large crowds or queues at shops and as part of our regular civil contingency engagement with businesses and partners.’
However, the spokesman added that they had no information to suggest that looting was a likely outcome of a no-deal Brexit.
Shortages caused by potential disruption at ports are one of the main concerns for contingency planners preparing for the prospect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal on March 29.
The food and drink and retail industries have warned of pressure on supply chains if new checks at EU or UK ports lead to long delays for goods crossing the Channel.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick warned late last year that a no-deal exit would cause problems for the police, particularly around security cooperation with the EU and access to law enforcement databases.
A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs Council said that police ‘do not expect to be involved in responding to any food shortages’.
However, the spokesman added: ‘Supermarkets have their own security and procedures but police forces will assess any requests for assistance, and continue working with communities through Local Resilience Forums. We are considering scenarios provided by government to inform our planning.’
This week the government moved into a new phase of the public information effort to prepare citizens and business for Brexit, with a national radio advert and social media campaign launched on Tuesday.