Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has written to the managers of grocery shops across the constituency. The text of his letter can be found below:

I appreciate that this is a busy and difficult time for local store managers, as it is for many key workers across the country, and I would like to thank you for all you have done, and all you will do, to reassure and help local residents.

However, we need to be vigilant about people taking advantage of the current peak demand and either buying too many products, or returning to stores again and again to stock up on the same products, before selling those products on at inflated prices.

As you may be aware, the Clacton constituency has one of the highest populations of residents aged over 65, and they are clearly some of the most vulnerable at times like this. And they are also most likely to suffer from being unable to access goods in their local store.

Therefore, I would ask the following:

  • Initiate a fixed daily period, during which only older shoppers can use your store, if this has not already been done.
  • Be aware of people seeking to take advantage of the current situation – either by buying too much or by returning multiple times – and report any untoward incidents to the police.
  • Make your customers aware that there is no interruption to the supply chain and that any shortages are the result of stockpiling. 
  • Make customers aware of current social distancing guidance.

When contacting Essex Police, District Commander for Tendring Lily Benbow advises: