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!
Chief Executive – Food