In total, the retailer has asked for nearly £3m in compensation from police forces around the country, following the riots that tore through some high streets in August. It is likely that this is the biggest request from a single retailer. The company is claiming under the Riot Damages Act, a piece of Victorian legislation that allows businesses and individuals affected by riot damage to claim directly from the police, rather than their own insurer. In the immediate aftermath of the civil disturbances, the British Retail Consortium urged small retailers to put in their claims to make sure their businesses were not harmed. However, the Greater Manchester Police Authority, which has been hit with 280 claims totalling £4.4m, has criticised Tesco for using the Act, saying there was no guarantee the police force would be able to afford all of the compensation. The force faces £134m budget cuts in the next five years. It added that J Sainsbury was one of a number of large companies that had chosen not to submit any compensation claims. Tesco has submitted more than 20 claims for compensation to Manchester police, including one for £40-worth of looted stock.