An MP has hit out at supermarket's after new dedicated shopping hours for the elderly and vulnerable have resulted in further chaos in Greenwich and Lewisham, leaving local residents "furious."

The new policy has come into effect this week at a number of shops after widespread stockpiling has left shelves empty.

But a lack of signage, inadequate enforcement of the policy and sheer numbers of people have seen efforts largely fail.

Some residents have taken pictures of the crowds and told their horror stories on social media, whilst local MP Matthew Pennycook warned on Twitter that police intervention could be needed if things continued.

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Local resident Lani Minielli said she went to the Sainbury's at New Cross Gate yesterday morning at around 8am, along with her 82-year-old father who suffers from peripheral artery disease in his legs.

Following a week of empty shelves, she said her dad was "very excited" to hear that there was a designated hour that he could shop and woke up especially early to ensure he'd be able to make it.

They arrived at 8:10am to an "enormous crowd" and the entrance locked, with one member of staff reportedly standing by the exit telling people tell make their way to the front if they wanted to get inside.

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Ms Minielli said: "People were upset and didn't understand why they'd been locked out in their designated hour of shopping, and there were no staff there to explain it.

"It was damp and cold, but we joined the crowd . We quickly realised there was absolutely no way we were going to be able to get to the front and were forced to leave."

"I am still furious now. The older and vulnerable shoppers were told they could shop in the first hour of opening, but instead were kept locked out in the cold."

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Lani's experience appears to have been replicated across the borough, with large crowds causing chaos and elderly people and NHS workers still struggling to find food.

Matthew Pennycook, the MP for Greenwich and Woolwich, visited a number of supermarkets across the constituency today and said it was "abundantly clear that the dedicated shopping hour for the elderly is not working."

Expressing his frustrations, he said that most shops had no signage explaining the polciy, and that there was no attempt to bring elderly and vulnerable customers to the front of queues, which were full of people of all ages.

"Shop workers were clearly unable to properly operate or enforce the policy without putting themselves at risk."

He stated: "Someone has to get a grip of the situation or many elderly and vulnerable customers are going to find themselves in real difficultly.

"Either the supermarkets need to start hiring additional security guards or the police will have to assist as it's becoming a public order issue.