You’ll know that the Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaign is something I’m really passionate about. That’s why we’re doing all we can to help colleagues feel safer and raise awareness of verbal and physical abuse towards shop workers with the people that can make a difference.
Earlier this year, we asked Dr Emmeline Taylor, a criminologist from the University of London, to carry out research on the issue and today we’re sharing that research with the government and the media.
This report supports the home office campaign we got invol vived in before the summer where over 600 of our amazing colleagues shared their stories. Some of these stories feature in the research and I’d like to thank everyone that got involved, I truly believe this will make a difference.
This research, for the first time ever, shows the impact and motivations of violence in the retail industry. It shows that this abuse is having lasting effects on the lives of workers, both mentally and physically and also shows some of the root causes of why people chose to carry out these acts.
You can read the full report here and we’ve also pulled the key messages into an infographic so you can share with your teams and on social media.
Emmeline and I will be taking the report findings to the Labour and Conservative party conferences this month to ask them to consider the recommendations which include;
A review of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act (ASBCPA) 2014, specifically to consider the impact that financial values set in the Act have had on levels of theft.
Introduce new legislation which would carry higher penalties for attacks where the shop worker is enforcing the law on age-restricted sales, such as cigarettes or alcohol.
Change expectations regarding age-restricted sales to move the onus onto customers to voluntarily prove their age as opposed to shop workers having to enforce the legislation.
Measure hate-motivated offences in shops and provide adequate support for those targeted.
Deal with the root causes with better mental health provision and drug treatment programs.
We’re continuing to invest in technology, equipment and training to make colleagues feel safer. Some of the recent trials we’ve done have had really great results and we’re currently rolling out our remote monitored CCTV into more shops.
We’ll continue to campaign outside of the Co-op to make sure this matter is taken seriously and show it’s not part of the job to be verbally abused, threatened or attacked.