Central England Co-op condemns threatening behaviour towards store colleagues in Leicester and reinforces zero tolerance crime campaign

Central England Co-op has reaffirmed its campaign calling for better protection for colleagues dealing with would-be criminals after a team in Leicester were faced with extreme threatening behaviour.

The retailer is reinforcing its message that violence and aggression towards staff will ‘not be tolerated’ after the team at its Thurnby Lodge Food Store, in Thurncourt Road, Leicester, were left shaken after a group of youths entered the store, threatened to take the life of a customer before a fight broke out.

Thankfully, no store colleagues were physically injured during the incident and the police quickly arrived to control the situation and arrest all those involved.

This is now the fourth incident in Leicestershire in since August where colleagues have been verbally or physically attacked.

Craig Goldie, Loss Prevention Manager, said: “Everyone at Central England Co-op was shocked and appalled by yet another unacceptable incident in Leicester this weekend.

“This unprovoked incident left colleagues shaken but thankfully not injured.

“We strongly condemn any form of abuse or violence towards our colleagues who are just doing their job and are working closely with the local police force in order to find those responsible.

“This type of incident reinforces our ongoing campaign calling for better protection for shopworkers and highlights our zero tolerance policy on all types of crime aimed at our colleagues and customers.

“Once again, we are sending a clear message out to anyone who might consider targeting our colleagues and stores – it is not worth the risk and no crime will be tolerated.

This comes just days after the retailer issued its ‘not worth the risk’ warning to criminals 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 Central England Co-op 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.

The campaign comes on the back of new figures which have revealed that, in Central England Co-op 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.

 

Notes to editors

 

About Central England Co-operative

 

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral, travel and property investment.

 

Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 

 

Our 7,900 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.

 

Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 

 

We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.

 

We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.

 

Visit www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood

 

 

Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle

 

Phone - 01543 421390

 

Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop