MP reacts to violent attack on Central England Co-op colleague in Castle Donington

A Leicestershire MP has condemned a violent attack on a Central England Co-op shopworker by a customer.

Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, spoke out after a security guard at its Station Road store was punched in the face after a customer became aggressive after being asked to present ID to collect a parcel from another colleague.

The colleague has not been left with any serious injuries and is recovering at home. The team are now working with the local police and supporting its investigation.

The parliamentarian praised the work of shopworkers, supported efforts for them to receive better protection and backed calls for the perpetrator to be brought to justice.

Andrew said: “While these are difficult times for all of us living under restrictions, there can be no excuse for violence.

“This kind of aggression against shop staff is totally unacceptable and I wish counter staff member a quick recovery.”

This incident 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.

Overall, this year, verbal abuse has jumped by 175%, assaults by 34% and threats by 12% compared to 2019.

It can also be revealed that a total of 279 crimes related directly to Covid-19 have been recorded in stores.

 

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 and property investment.

 

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

 

Our 7,550 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 400 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