Coronavirus: Two men arrested after shoppers filmed licking their hands in supermarket and wiping them over food

Sainsbury's forced to dispose of affected produce

Andy Gregory
Thursday 09 April 2020 13:20 BST
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Two men have been filmed licking their hands in a supermarket and wiping them over meat, vegetables and fridge handles.

The Sainsbury's store in Morecambe had to be thoroughly disinfected and the food had to be destroyed, police said.

Lancashire Police have since made two arrests, after releasing CCTV images of the perpetrators.

"That anyone could think this sort of behaviour is appropriate or amusing even in normal times is beyond me, but at this time of crisis when many people have been faced with empty shelves in some shops is flabbergasting," said Inspector James Martin.

The culprits entered the Lancaster Road shop at around 1:45pm on Saturday. Two men were arrested hours later.

Inquiries are still ongoing despite the arrests, police said.

"We would like to thank everyone who helped with the appeal. Your assistance is greatly appreciated as always," a police spokesperson said.

Since the coronavirus outbreak began, there has been a spate of incidents in which individuals have appeared to deliberately contaminate supermarket supplies and other public areas.

There have also been reports of people spitting at police officers and nurses in an apparent attempt to weaponise the deadly virus.

The president of the Police Superintendents' Association told members of the home affairs select committee on Monday that strong sentences are being issued for coronavirus-related assaults against officers.

Some countries have gone a step further. For example, the United States justice department has said those who intentionally try to spread the virus should charged with terror offences.

Additional reporting by PA

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