We have launched our autumn/winter crime crackdown by telling would-be criminals ‘it is not worth the risk’ to target our colleagues and stores

Posted by Rob Smyth | 14/10/2020 | Category: Corporate


Criminals have been told ‘it is not worth the risk’ targeting our stores this autumn and winter following a roll-out of new measures.

We issued the warning as part of an ongoing campaign to keep colleagues and customers safe as the nights draw in and Covid-19 restrictions continue .

The coming months will see us increasing a range of different measures in stores including; expanding a service it uses that allows colleagues, at the touch of the button, to call for assistance, and putting tracking devices in more products to deter would-be thieves.

This will sit alongside a recently launched trial of body worn cameras which, if successful, could be rolled out across all stores.

Craig Goldie, Loss Prevention Manager, said: “We want to send a clear message out to anyone who might be thinking of committing a crime at one of our stores this autumn and winter - this behaviour will not be tolerated and targeting our stores is not worth the risk.

“This campaign is designed to deter would-be criminals and ensure our colleagues and their families are protected from the physical and emotional impact of violence and aggression and feel safe to come to work.

“We are working closely with local police forces to crackdown on these issues and have also installed a range of new security measures to assist us in this ongoing campaign.

“Everyone at Central England Co-op is proud to live, work and serve in our local communities – now we need people to work with us to make sure that all crime – from theft and robberies to violence and aggression towards our colleagues - becomes a thing of the past.”

This crackdown will be supported by an internal poster campaign in store, closer links with local police forces, lobbying government for changes in the law and several measures already in place in stores including:

  • centrally monitored CCTV system fitted which allows colleagues to call for assistance at the touch of a button
  • increased use of security officers and store detectives in stores
  • stringent cash controls
  • new colleague training on how to deal with situations involving violence or aggression
  • working with offenders to help them beat their addiction and support their integration back into the community

The campaign comes on the back of new figures which have revealed that, in our stores this year, verbal abuse has risen by 205%, threats and intimidation by 122% and assaults by 47%.

It can also be revealed that the retailer has recorded a total of 232 crimes related directly to covid-19.

Recently, our Chief Executive Debbie Robinson joined forces with 22 other retail bosses to write to Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking for greater protection to shopworkers who face violence and aggression from customers.

We have been running a long-term campaign showcasing its zero tolerance’ approach to violence and aggression towards colleagues.

The campaign has also received backing from over 200 other MPs up and down the country and from across the political divide. Support has also come from several police forces and police and crime commissioners.


About The Author: Rob Smyth

Public relations

Promoting the great work of Central England Co-operative across all forms of media.