Two supermarket delivery vans were firebombed by a group of “youths” after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the United Kingdom would enter a three week nationwide lockdown.
The group of “anti-social” teenagers took to the streets of Bristol in apparent defiance of the lockdown, throwing bricks through windows, destroying cars, and setting two food delivery vans from the supermarket chain Iceland on fire.
The chaos in Bristol began just hours after the prime minister announced the nationwide lockdown to halt the spread of the coronavirus. When confronted by the local police, the “youths” began hurling “missiles” at the officers, according to Bristol Live.
In a statement on social media, the CEO of Iceland wrote: “Two of our vans in Southmead were burnt out last night during disturbances in the town. At a time when home delivery is literally a lifeline for some vulnerable people, this is sickening.”
Iceland said that the two vans were completely destroyed and had to be “written off”. The company said that it would replace the two food delivery vehicles but noted that their fleet of delivery vehicles is running at full capacity as a result of the crisis.
The company said it believes the incident was an “act of mindless vandalism rather than a targeted attack on Iceland.”
In response to the mayhem in the city, the local Chief Inspector, Mark Runacres said: “Just hours after the Prime Minister announced everyone in the country should stay home to save lives it is beyond belief anyone would be so reckless and thoughtless.”
The chief inspector said that the local police have given extra powers to disperse crowds and will continue to do so to prevent further destruction.
“We believe that a group of teenagers were involved in these disturbances. I have one message for them, their parents and carers. Stay at home. Save lives,” he warned.
Grocers across the UK have been grappling with food shortages as a result of people panic buying items, particularly long shelf life food, toilet roll and hand sanitiser.
Last week, several supermarket chains in the UK announced that they would be hiring tens of thousands of new employees to help keep shelves stocked.