Central England Co-op condemns attack on store colleague 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 shock attack – all over the sale of an energy drink.
The retailer is reinforcing its message that violence and aggression towards staff will ‘not be tolerated’ after an innocent colleague at its Anson Road Food Store, in Shepshed, was pushed and hit in the head after a customer was asked for ID while trying to buy an energy drink and then attempting to leave the store with a drink without paying.
The attacker then brandished a wrench and shouted verbal threats at colleague before leaving the store.
Thankfully, the colleague was not seriously injured and the store team are now supporting police with their investigation.
This incident comes just days after an innocent colleague was verbally abused, physically attacked and then robbed while he lay injured on the floor in an unprovoked attacked at the Markfield Food Store.
Craig Goldie, Loss Prevention Manager, said: “Everyone at Central England Co-op was shocked and appalled at the unacceptable attack on a colleague in Shepshed.
“Luckily, the colleague was 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
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