Police To Patrol Supermarkets As Violence Escalates Between Panicked Shoppers
Police officers will begin to increase their presence in and around shopping centres as violence increases in the aisles over Coronavirus panic buying.
Over the past few weeks, as Australians have raced to the shops to stock up, violence has escalated in the aisles.
Elderly citizens have reported being pushed and shoved, while a number of shocking videos have shown shoppers brawling over toilet paper.
From Thursday, NSW Police have confirmed they will be "making a concerted effort to ensure the security of shoppers and retail staff across the state amid concerns of ‘panic buying’ due to COVID-19".
Deputy Commissioner Jeff Loy said in a statement released to 10 daily officers would be working with retailers and customers across the state to help the public feel safer as they go about their day to day lives.
"Despite these unprecedented circumstances, we are working hard to maintain a sense of normality for the wider community," he said.
"The NSW Police force will continue to work closely with retailers to ensure we are working as effectively as possible to assist not only them, but also consumers and their staff members during this time."
While the officers will not be primarily stationed in the toilet paper aisle, they are working hard to ensure people violence will not be tolerated.
The announcement comes after a man allegedly pushed his trolley into two elderly women, knocking one into the ground, after becoming agitated by the empty shelves.
Police charged a 63-year-old man for the alleged assault of staff and shoppers at a supermarket in Lismore, NSW on Tuesday.
It's alleged the man also pinned a 45-year-old female store attendant against the shelves and punched her in the face and chest.
The 45-year-old woman sustained bruising and swelling to her left jaw, chest and forearm. The two older women left the store without leaving their details. It is not known if they were injured.