Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Two held after fight outside store

Two held after fight outside store

TWO men were arrested after a fight broke out outside a supermarket in Henley on a Saturday night.

Police were called when a large group of young people gathered outside Sainsbury’s in Bell Street shortly after 10pm on October 10 as the shop was closing.

Police said a man in his twenties was punched in the face.

Two men, aged 22 and 19 and both from Henley, were arrested on suspicion of affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. They have both been released under investigation.

A man who witnessed the incident said he received verbal abuse when he tried to encourage the drinkers to disperse.

He said: “There was quite a big queue and there were a few people drinking beers in the lay-by and standing in the road. I spoke to a couple of the people and they got quite abusive.”

He said the shop was closed early because lots of people were going in to buy alcohol without wearing masks and the staff felt uncomfortable.

“From what I could see, there were about three staff standing in the doorway and they felt intimidated,” said the man.

“They thought that something could happen and then a fight kicked off outside and that was the final straw.

“They are just staff, they’re not paid to do security work or enforce things, so I can understand their side of it. The easiest thing to do in their position was to close the shop early.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “We continue to remind customers to wear face coverings if they are able to.

“We have greeters outside our supermarkets and busy convenience stores as well as posters and regular tannoy announcements.”

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “We will continue to prioritise deployment to large group gatherings as they pose the greatest health risk.

“We will disperse groups of over six and issue fines to those who refuse to comply, although in most situations our officers can resolve breaches without having to issue a fine.

“If a person or a group of people are become abusive or threatening staff members, this should always be reported to the police via 101, or in an emergency by calling 999.”

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