Co-op is introducing a range of new technologies to help prevent crime and protect its staff amid what it has called a “store crime epidemic”.
Central England Co-op is introducing a new system which allows its staff to call for immediate assistance at the touch of a button.
In a new campaign designed to “deter would-be criminals and ensure our colleagues and their families are protected”, the retailer is also working to establish greater links with local police forces and places tracking devices in more items.
It comes after the grocer was forced to issue its employees with body worn cameras, monitored by a third party security company, which staff have been told to turn on whenever they feel an incident is about to take place.
“We want to send a clear message out to anyone who might be thinking of committing a crime at one of our stores this autumn and winter: this behaviour will not be tolerated and targeting our stores is not worth the risk,” Co-op’s loss prevention manager Craig Goldie said.
“This campaign is designed to deter would-be criminals and ensure our colleagues and their families are protected from the physical and emotional impact of violence and aggression and feel safe to come to work.
“We are working closely with local police forces to crack down on these issues and have also installed a range of new security measures to assist us in this ongoing campaign.”
The recent spike in violence against shop staff coincided with the implementation of rules requiring shoppers to wear masks in stores, largely leaving it to store staff to enforce.
This led Co-op’s chief executive Debbie Robinson, alongside 22 other retail bosses to call on Boris Johnson to do more to protect shop workers on the retail front lines.