Central England Co-op condemns threatening behaviour towards 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 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 verbally abused and threatened by a man who had been refused an age restricted sale as he did not have ID on Saturday.

The man then destroyed the shop kiosk before leaving the store. He was later arrested by Leicestershire Police.

Thankfully, no store colleagues were physically injured during the incident.

This is now the third incident in Leicestershire in less than a month where colleagues have been verbally or physically attacked.

The first incident, in Markfield, Leicester, saw an innocent colleague verbally abused, physically attacked and then robbed while he lay injured on the floor in an unprovoked attack.

The second saw a colleague in Shepshed, Leicestershire, pushed, hit in the head and threatened with a wrench after a customer was asked for ID while trying to buy an energy drink and then attempted to leave the store with a drink without paying.

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.”

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.


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