Police in NSW have charged two women with affray, following a hectic brawl over toilet paper in a Sydney supermarket. Per a statement by police, officers attended the store yesterday morning and spoke to a 49-year-old woman, who was allegedly assaulted in the incident.
At around 8pm last night, two women aged 23 and 60 presented themselves to Bankstown Police Station and spoke with investigators. Earlier today, the pair were issued with court attendance notices for affray. They are set to face court on April 28.
This past week, there have been reports of police being called to supermarkets around the country, knives being pulled and tasers being deployed as consumers frantically stock up on loo roll. Coles and Woolies have even put limits on how many packs can be purchased at a time.
Yesterday, a widely-shared video showed an altercation at a Woolworths supermarket at Chullora, in Sydney’s west. One woman was heard saying “I just want one pack” while another, whose trolley was filled to overflowing with loo rolls said “no, not one pack!”
A third woman was also seen in the video. Staff members were forced to step in and police were called as the group came to blows, with one saying:
“Look what you’re doing, you’re fighting over tissues. Think about what you’re doing, you need to stop alright, there’s a limit … it’s unfair.”
While toilet paper manufacturers and even the Prime Minister have repeatedly said that there will not be a shortage in supply thanks to coronavirus, this has not stopped the good people of Australia from rushing to supermarkets and cramming their trolleys full of the stuff.
Stripping supermarket shelves and stockpiling a year’s supply of toilet paper might be selfish, it might be dumb, it might be pointless and it might disadvantage others who legitimately need it, but … actually, there’s no ‘but’, that’s it. We as a nation need to fucken chill.
NSW police acting inspector Andrew New called for shoppers to be calm when buying toilet paper, saying:
“We just ask that people don’t panic like this when they go out shopping. There is no need for it. It isn’t the Thunderdome, it isn’t Mad Max, we don’t need to do that.”
We recently spoke to Simon Griffiths, the CEO of Who Gives A Crap, which has seen toilet paper sales spike as the panic buying frenzy continues. He told us that the current situation is a good opportunity for Australians to check in on those who might be struggling, saying:
“It’s a good time to be thinking about our neighbours and our friends, and making sure that others around us are okay, because it’s probably going to be a bit of a tight spot.”
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