19 March 2020 20:37
The Met Police said: 'Staff had reported that six men had entered the store and began to conceal spirits in their clothes. 'When confronted by staff the men became hostile and threatening. When the group left one of them picked up a sign that was outside the store and damaged a window. 'Officers attended and four men aged 20, 21, 21, and 22 were arrested near the scene on suspicion of theft and criminal damage. 'Enquiries continue.' Six men stole alcohol then smashed a window at a Sainsbury's in Elephant in Castle (Picture: Mail Online) Supermarkets are under immense pressure amid coronavirus panic buying (Picture: Mail Online) A Sainsbury's spokesperson told Mail Online 'it's a shame that these things are happening.' The violent scenes come as Britain's supermarkets face unprecedented demand from customers stockpiling as the coronavirus crisis worsens. Hundreds of shoppers lined up outside supermarkets before the doors opened at 6am today, after retailers enforced rationing measures to deal with a surge in panic buying. At an Asda in Wembley, toilet roll ran out 'in two minutes' after crowds queuing around the corner barged past staff trying to control the situation. Senior citizens walk past empty shelves as they shop at Sainsbury's in Northwich (Picture: Getty) Shoppers scramble through the doors of an Asda store as it opens in Wembley amid Coronavirus crisis.(Picture: @billsnaddon/Twitter) Shoppers gather outside an ASDA store in Cardiff from 5.45am (Picture: Getty) Customers have complained of the rationing not being enforced and staff have faced abuse for attempting to restrict what people buy. Advertisement Several supermarkets have set aside priority opening hours for the elderly and are limiting customers to buying three of any item. Retailers have stressed that there is plenty of food in the supply chain, but shoppers need to act responsibly to ensure everyone can get what they need, especially the most vulnerable. There have been widespread reports that London is heading for a lockdown, although a government spokesperson heavily denied plans to shut down the capital's transport network. Emergency legislation will be passed through the House of Commons later today outlining further restrictions and social distancing measures. That could include police patrolling supermarkets to enforce rationing and prevent looting as panic buying gets worse. Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected] For more stories like this, check our news page.