Central England Co-op reinforces zero tolerance crime campaign after security guard threatened with a knife in Birmingham

Central England Co-op has reaffirmed its campaign calling for better protection for colleagues after a security guard was threatened with a knife following an attempted theft.

The retailer is reinforcing its message that violence and aggression towards staff will ‘not be tolerated’ after an innocent security guard was confronted by a man with a knife after he unsuccessfully tried to grab cash from the till when be served by a colleague at the Kingstanding Food Store on Friday night.

The criminal paid for a packet of chewing gum before failing to grab cash from the till. He then fled the store and, when confronted by the onsite guard, pulled out a knife before fleeing the scene.

Thankfully, the colleague and security guard were not injured and we are now supporting police with their investigation.

Craig Goldie, Loss Prevention Manager, said: “Everyone at Central England Co-op was shocked and appalled at the unacceptable incident in Birmingham.

“Luckily, the colleague and security guard were not injured and we are offering full support to them and the entire team and working closely with the local police force to bring the person responsible to justice.

“We strongly condemn any form of abuse of violence towards our colleagues who are just doing their job.

“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.”

Recent figures have seen assaults jump by 100%, threats and intimidation by 25% and verbal abuse by 175% since the start of the year, and since the lockdown was introduced, there have been over 100 incidents related directly to people using COVID-19 as a threat.

The Society has long campaigned for the Government to change legislation so shop workers are afforded greater protection in carrying out their duties. Today the retailer is saying more needs to be done now to protect these critical workers and to curb a potential crime epidemic.

 

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