As a mother of two teenage boys and living just a few miles away from the scene of the murder of Yousuf Makki in Altrincham last weekend, the horror of these crimes has really struck home to me.

I’ve been paying close attention to the conversations this week in government around knife crime and other weaponised violence and that’s why I decided to write to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, offering our support.

In my letter, I’ve explained that as a community-based business we see the impact of social issues in our shops and the threat of weaponised attacks against colleagues has grown. Whilst internally we’re committed to doing all we can to protect colleagues, investing over £70m in technology, training and partnerships, we know we can do more to collaborate across society to tackle the root cause of crime.

I have shared with the Home Secretary some of examples of what we’re committing to as part of our Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaign and urged him to remember the role we can play to support. As I set out in the letter we’ve shown that businesses have assets which we can use to help address this terrifying problem. I really believe our Co-op can lead the way showing what businesses can do.

I’m determined that we play our part so would like to ask for your support in sharing this story on Twitter and tagging the Home Secretary @sajidjavid and the Prime Minister, Theresa May, @10DowningStreet to bring this letter to their attention.

Jo Whitfield
CEO Co-op Retail

Join the conversation! 11 Comments

  1. Working together with colleagues, communities, local authorities and goverment will help reduce crime. However I do feel society will take a long time to feel the effects these senseless murders have on families and friends.
    Having been on the shopfloor for over 20 years, the Co-op has never been more vocal campaigning goverment and long may it continue.
    I do believe the personal costs the stores are running at is making it easier for the oppertunist theif, however if we follow process and procedure less injuries wil occur.
    Not one product we sell is worth any sort of verbal, phyysical abuse no matter how small, keep safe and remember support is availabe.

  2. This as a buisness we need to look at our shop floor operations before we invest in technology and lobby the government for change. Safer colleagues and communities should start on the sales floor and place more staff on evening shifts to deter crime. How many stores around the northwest have been armed robbed in the past month while operating with being one on one? Coop is such a easy target at the moment.

    • I’d have to say we’re not the only ones who are easy targets.

      I was in Holland and Barrett recently when two men came in. There was only one member of staff on the shop floor at the time.

      One went to pay for something with a card that was declined, and occupied the cashier’s time while she sorted it out, while his accomplice stuffed his pockets with jars of Manunka honey (£50 per lb jar) and then they left.

  3. Did you get a reply?

  4. Put more staff in store guards are untrained and a waste of money store staff are more effective
    Why are the cctv monitoring Company not reporting crimes to the police
    We have less hours in store and barely time to have a wee let alone report every crime twice

  5. Maybe the Home Office will consider the letter written as much as the CEO’s of the Co-op consider the emails and letters we send to them when we feel that the Co-op is going wrong. Especially when they have taken off Security within some of the Stores in the bid to save money. I am sorry, but I find this hypocritical.

  6. Thanks Jo. This worrying trend in knife crime is a disturbing concern for everyone, and I’m so glad to see that we are not just sitting back and hoping someone else will deal with the problem. This is a society problem, and it needs every part of society working together to understand the root of the cause and work towards solutions.

    • Tackle gangs and you’ll tackle knife crime. We’ve always had knives since the stone ages, but gangs are the relatively new thing in the UK that has lead to this trend. I still don’t get why people see the need to kill one another though. End a life, then live the rest of your life in fear of the police or retaliation. There’s just no need.

  7. Thanks Jo we are all in this together

  8. I have been on horrible situations with shoplifters and other issues, whilst working for another company, but when I joined the Co-op I had already heard about “ Safer colleague, Safer communities” I really believe that Co-op is passionate about driving this and will succeed for both colleagues and the heart of the communities our shops are the hub of.

  9. Great offer of support and demonstration of leadership. Message shared on my Linked In network.

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