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Respect for Shop Workers week has been all about raising awareness with the public and our colleagues that violence, threats and abuse against workers is unacceptable.

And we’ve done exactly that! Throughout this week the Food field teams, teams from the Retail Support Centre and many others have visited hundreds of our shops up and down the country. They’ve been having honest conversations with colleagues and customers about crime in Retail and what we’re doing inside and outside of the Co-op to protect our colleagues.

A huge part of USDAW’s Freedom from Fear campaign (of which Respect for Shop Workers week is a part of) is about opening up conversations with members of government about crime in Retail. It’s what we want to do more of in the future but we made a great start this week by welcoming 50 MPs into our shops. We talked to them about how crime affects our colleagues and some of the ways we try to address that.

My favourite picture of the week goes to one of our Area Managers Immy and MP Ed Miliband wearing our Co-op headsets.

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Nothing is more important that protecting our colleagues now and in the future

But it’s not just one week for us. Nothing is more important than protecting our colleagues now and in the future.

We’ve launched some brilliant things this year that will help our colleagues feel safer including intelligent CCTV, colleague headsets and My Safety and have continued to support colleagues in the best way we can after incidents. However, we know that for organised crime and repeating offenders in particular, it doesn’t matter how many colleagues are in the store or what equipment we have.

That’s why it’s so important for colleagues not to put themselves in harm’s way if they’re faced with any type of violent crime.

We’ll continue to invest in new technology, equipment and training but we’ll also start to think about how we can partner with other retailers, the police, local communities and open up conversation with government to start to find other ways of deterring these types of crime.

I’d encourage everyone to keep the conversation alive and support us on our journey to safer colleagues, safer communities.

Jenny Alleyne
Head of Retail Risk Health and Safety

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. It Doesn’t matter how many colleagues we put in store !?

    If the business was honest with its self it would appreciate that having TWO colleagues in a store is a risk no matter what gadgets are too hand, you speak keenly about prevention of crime but consider the world we live in, Instances of abuse and threatening behaviour are often aimed at colleagues by frustrated members of the public not getting the level of service they expect, If you experienced the level of pressure you are under when all the colleagues are on a till and you have customers arms folded ready to let of steam as they been waiting for someone’s attention, I also have learnt the business have indeed got a price on not working one on one and it has been shelved !
    I would also mention, despite having a new recruitment portal we are find it increasingly difficult to recruit let alone retain colleagues, has the business looked into this
    Thank you

  2. Are you not allowing any comments on this story?

    I sent a sensible suggestion and it’s not appeared?

  3. Has anyone done any analysis as to which stores are most at risk and focussed efforts accordingly?

    I know there’s a level of threat that can occur anywhere and all stores are at some degree of risk of theft and robbery but I hear plenty of stories about certain stores where it’s more prevalent or more extreme in it’s nature.

    There are also plenty of stores taking unofficial measures to reduce the impact of loss by under stocking their shelves which we ought to acknowledge.

    Maybe we should allow them to remove all the high risk stock from display and sell it on request?

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Food, Stronger Co-op, Stronger Communities

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