Co-op reinforces zero-tolerance message after shoplifter attacks worker in-store

Central England Co-op has reiterated its message that violence and aggression towards its staff will “not be tolerated” after a colleague was assaulted by a shoplifter during an incident in Birmingham.

The employee was thankfully not seriously injured but was “extremely” shaken by the incident.

The symbol group retailer is helping the police with their investigation.

“We strongly condemn any form of abuse or violence towards our colleagues and are offering our full support to the entire team at our Cotteridge store,” Central England Co-op loss prevention manager Craig Goldie said.

“These types of incidents reinforce 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.

READ MORE: Central England Co-op backs Usdaw retail violence campaign

“Once again, we’re sending a clear message out to anyone who might consider targeting our colleagues and stores – it’s not worth the risk and no crime will be tolerated.”

The news comes after the retail trade union Usdaw published shocking statistics from its annual survey, revealing high levels of abuse, threats and violence against shop workers.

The research revealed that 90% of the 3,500 retail employees who responded have been subject to verbal abuse in the last 12 months. Almost two-thirds (64%) were threatened by a customer while more than one in every ten (12%) were physically assaulted.

Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis added: “It is shocking that 9 in 10 of our members working in retail are suffering abuse from customers, with far too many experiencing threats and violence.”

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