I’m delighted to tell you that the Co-op National Member’s Council, who represent the views of our 4.6 million members, have agreed that Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities will be an official Co-op campaign.

That means that like our campaigns on Modern Slavery and Loneliness, we’ll use our campaigning capital to get the issue of colleague and community safety taken more seriously and use our community presence to tackle root causes of violence and crime.

You can read the Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities report which sets out what we know about the violence and crime affecting our colleagues – not just the statistics, but also how it feels, why tackling crime is so important to us and how the Co-op is committed to tackling crime impacting our colleagues and the communities in which they live.

Doing more to protect colleagues and communities

We’ve already made a great start on the campaign. We’ve been working with MPs Alex Norris and David Hanson to amend the Offensive Weapons Bill to provide greater protection for shop workers. We supported USDAW’s Respect for Shop workers week, where we welcomed 48 MPs into our shops and talked to them about the impact crime has on our colleagues. We’ve also been talking to other influential people like the police, community groups and the media and leading the conversation that this is a crime against people, our colleagues and communities, not business.

The campaign will also be supported by a focused investment in our shops to reduce the impact on colleagues even further. This year we’ve significantly invested into technology such as intelligent CCTV, colleague headsets, guarding in vulnerable stores during at risk hours and training of our colleagues and this will continue.

This is what matters most to us and our members and this gives us the confidence that we can make a real difference as we have done with our other campaigns. We’ll be looking to our colleagues to be our greatest advocates in this campaign and in the New Year we will be setting out how you can play your part – watch this space!

Jo Whitfield
Chief Executive – Food

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Looking at the two articles It appears some MP’s are on board to toughen the law when store staff are involved. Why should the protection of the law vary? If an incident occurs in a store I fully expect both customers and staff to have the same level of protection and remedy form the law. This feels like misdirection, when the real issues are things such as running stores with only one staff member in the front of the shop. We should spend money on solving that rather than wining and dining MP’s.

  2. Crime is not going to go away until more money is put into policing. My local area has suffered numerous breakins, including my local Co-op – which previously hadn’t had a breakin in over 10 years. This year its been done 3 times, each time over £5k of cigarettes was taken. No amount of campaigning will fix this. The police need more money.

  3. Before committing a crime does one check what the punishment is going to be? No! In the heat of the moment do they care what they are doing? No! But the fact the staffing levels are the lowest they have ever been for most retail stores, opportunists will alway look for a weak link. But yet Coop keep cutting hours back on a weekly basis because of staff wages. This also has an effect on the customer too as the service levels in some stores is shocking. Considering all these staff members own the business too why not increase the hours per store, give good service to the customer and provide peace of mind to the staff knowing they have someone else on hand. Become the leader in retail for customer service that’s how the Coop can win the market.

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