Two food delivery trucks were attacked in Bristol last night, sparking fury and concern for vulnerable people relying on the service during the coronavirus crisis. Iceland’s managing director Richard Walker posted an image of one of the supermarket van’s destroyed after an attack in Arnside Road, Southmead in Bristol, on Monday night. The shocking news comes after Boris Johnson urged people to order vital food supplies and household essentials online for home delivery as he placed the UK on lockdown to fight the coronavirus oubtreak.
Mr Walker hit out at the “sickening” attack, saying vulnerable people were relying on food deliveries as a “lifeline” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He tweeted: “2 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.”
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said police carried out targeted patrols in Henbury and Southmead today after overnight incidents including arson and criminal damage.
He said: “Two Iceland delivery vans destroyed by fire in Arnside Road
“Patrolling officers came across the Iceland van fire and called it in while officers were flagged down by a member of the public over the car damage in Strathearn Drive.”
Neighbourhood Chief Inspector Mark Runacres hit out at the “reckless” and “thoughtless” attackers in a strongly worded statement to Express.co.uk.
He said: “Just hours after the Prime Minister announced that everyone in the country should stay home to save lives it is beyond belief that anyone would be so reckless and thoughtless.
“Officers were already patrolling the area following recent instances of anti-social behaviour (ASB) and we’ll continue to do so. We put an order in place last night under ASB legislation to give officers extra powers to disperse groups and will continue to use these existing powers to tackle this problem.
“We are working with our communities and partners to identify and take appropriate action against those responsible. If you have any information which could help get in touch through http://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk.contact.”
“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.”
Outraged Twitter users reacted to the image, with one saying: “This is just disgusting Richard I’m so shocked disgraceful behaviour.”
Another said: “Shocking Richard when it’s such a lifeline for some, what is wrong with these people.”
One replied: “This is despicable ! What the hell is wrong with these people.”
It comes after reports on Twitter said an ASDA delivery van was also targeted.
A Twitter user wrote: “ASDA home shopping van, stolen lastnight and burnt, how selfish! Thats maybe 60/70 people/ families in need who will not get the shopping they despratley needed today.