Iceland food delivery vans torched by thugs as riot police pelted with missiles

Thugs have set fire to two Iceland delivery vans needed in the crucial supply of food to isolated Brits, leaving them completely written off.

Trouble broke out in Southmead, north Bristol at around 9.30pm on Monday night after Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation, ordering a "lockdown" as well as tough new measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Police had already been tackling a number of violent incidents in the area before being called to the flaming vans outside the supermarket branch on Arnside Road.

In a statement, Iceland said: "Police riot vans were called out and youths threw missiles at the police as they tried to disperse them.

"Later in the evening the two home delivery vans parked outside our Southmead store were set alight and the fire brigade attended to put out the fire.

"The vans will both have to be written off.

"We believe this to be an act of mindless vandalism rather than a targeted attack on Iceland."

It went on: "It is shocking and distressing that anyone would act so callously to put vehicles out of service at precisely the time when they are most needed to deliver food to the most vulnerable people in our society."

The supermarket giant said it would bring in replacement vans to maintain the home delivery service in the area, but added that its entire van fleet was currently running at absolutely full capacity due to increased demand from the coronavirus outbreak.

Iceland's furious CEO Richard Walker also took to Twitter to hit out at the vandals.

Sharing a picture of the two burnt-out vans, he tweeted: "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."

BristolLive reports that Avon and Somerset Police have also issued a statement on Monday night's destructive behaviour.

It said the force is carrying out targeted patrols in the area after having to deal with a number of incidents including a brick thrown through someone's window and vehicles being torched.

In one incident, a family was forced to evacuate their house and hide in their back garden after a car was set on fire in front of their home on Charlton Lane.

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Neighbourhood Chief Inspector Mark Runacres said: "Just hours after the Prime Minister announced everyone in this country should stay home to save lives it is beyond belief that anyone would be so reckless and thoughtless."

He added: "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."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting reference 5220068263.

  • Iceland Supermarket
  • Fire
  • Coronavirus

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