Skip to content

Coronavirus: Forum asks county not to panic buy

Residents are being asked not to panic buy by a key member of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Resilience Forum.
Ryan Stacey
Ryan Stacey. Photo: Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire and Rescue Service’s area commander for community safety and resilience, Ryan Stacey, warned against “over buying”.

Mr Stacey is part of the Local Resilience Forum – a multi-agency group which brings together key public bodies, including councils, the emergency services, the NHS and more – which is responsible for assessing and responding to risks in the county.

The Local Resilience Forum is currently co-ordinating the county’s response to the impact of coronavirus.

Mr Stacey said: “We would urge residents across the county to ensure they are only buying what they need and not over stock, particularly on key items.

“The government has been giving this advice to the nation as it’s crucially important to make sure everyone, particularly those most vulnerable, are able to get access to what they need.

“It’s no different here in Cambridgeshire. Please ensure you are not over buying and help make sure everyone can buy the essentials during this unprecedented time.”

Mr Stacey said shortages of food and other products on the shelves of shops are being caused by “unprecedented demand” and said “just because shops are empty, it does not mean we are running out”.

He cautioned against “panic buying,” saying not only that is not necessary, but that “it makes the most vulnerable more vulnerable”.

A number of shops and supermarkets have run out of certain items on shelves in recent days, with toilet roll and long-lasting foods such as pasta often regularly unavailable.

The government has also warned against over buying in response to coronavirus fears. Prime minister Boris Johnson said this week: “We are absolutely confident our supply chains are working.

“Therefore people should have no reason to stockpile or panic buy.”

Public Health England has advised people to plan ahead in case they need to self-isolate. People are advised to ask family or friends to assist with deliveries, or order food online and have it left at the door when self-isolating.

Supermarket chains have also said they have enough food to feed the nation, but some have brought in restrictions to manage demand.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s are removing multi-buy promotions and restricting bulk buying.

The chief executive for Sainsbury’s, Mike Coupe, said on March 18: “We still have enough food for everyone — if we all just buy what we need for us and our families.”

The UK is not the only country affected by the issue. The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, told his citizens panic buying is “not necessary”.

He said it was “one of the most disappointing things I have seen in Australian behaviour in response to this crisis,” adding “it’s distracting attention and efforts”.

 

By Ben Hatton

Local Democracy Reporting Service