A spokesperson for Essex Police has confirmed that four arrests have been made after violent disorder broke out at a Southend newsagents when a customer tried to pay for a packet of Wine Gums at the Post Office counter.

According to witnesses at Huey Lewis News on London Road, relations between the Post Office concession and the main retail area are currently at ‘an all time low,’ with the two rival factions now refusing to acknowledge each others’ existence altogether in the style of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

One said, ‘Tensions had only just fizzled out after a regrettable incident last year when someone tried to renew their car tax where they sell the Silk Cut, but deep down everyone knew that it was only going to take something little like this to light the blue touch paper.’

‘An elderly gentleman came in this morning and tried to purchase a packet of Wine Gums at the Post Office counter, and he had to wait for ten minutes to be served because someone had seventy-eight eBay parcels to send and there was only one window open.’

‘He was then screamed at for a full five minutes by an employee about how he should take his confectionary to ‘someone who gives a fuck’ across the other side of the store, and this is when the argument descended into full-blown violence.’

‘The Post Office worker had left the parcel hatch open by accident, and the shop manager set fire to a box of Swan Vestas and threw his improvised Molotov cocktail through the gaping hole in their secure glass setup.’

‘The postmaster then leapt through the hatch and attempted to waterboard the shop manager with the wet sponge they dip their fingers in, and this is when the police arrived and made a number of arrests.’

A source said, ‘If they would have taken payment for the sweets on the Post Office EPOS system, it would have sent the entire global economy into freefall.’

It is the latest incident of violence in a store with an integrated Post Office.

47 people were killed in Birmingham last week when someone wrote an address on a Jiffy Bag and presented it at the Post Officer counter without paying for it first by following the correct protocol of taking it to the stationery area, handing over the money and peeling off the price tag.