By Sarah Ramsey – Head of Portfolio, Food and Group
We care about our all our colleagues’ safety. Our stores and our amazing store colleagues face unique challenges with safety on a daily basis.
We continue to raise awareness of the violence and abuse our colleagues face every day through our Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaign. We want to send a clear message that violence and abuse is not part of the job.
We’re also committed to investing in our stores to make our colleagues feel safer. We got the support of our council and members when they voted in favour of continuing to invest £70m over three years, matching the £70m we’d invested already. We’re making sure we use every penny of that wisely, targeting the stores that need it the most.
Here’s what we’re doing over the next few months:
Over 600 more stores will get product protection equipment
622 more stores will get Co-op exclusive equipment to protect high-value products like bottled alcohol and meat and those who already have the equipment will get more.
300 more stores will get body cameras
On top of the 250 stores that already have them, we’ll install 300 more stores with body worn cameras. These cameras can be used when a colleague feels threatened by aggressive or violent behaviour. With one simple push of a button, the camera will instantly record the situation and stream live to our security monitoring centre.
All our Assisted Serve Tills (ASTs) will be fitted with security cameras
Our data and research shows that shoplifting is a key trigger for violence and abuse against our colleagues. We’ll install all ASTs with security screens. Customers will see themselves in the screens whilst scanning their shopping with the aim of stopping any opportunistic thefts.
We’ll invest in 50 more safety focus stores
45% of crime is reported from our 100 most challenging stores. We’ll focus on giving these stores more support with things like shutters, special glazing on doors and windows, intelligent CCTV, improved intruder detection and everything else mentioned above. We’ll also help the colleagues in these stores develop their skills in how to deal with the specific challenges in their shops.
We’ll complete the roll out of SmartCash
SmartCash transforms how we manage cash in store, automating and simplifying all of our cash handling processes. Not only will it be quicker and easier, it’ll also reduce the amount of cash colleagues are handling, reducing risk and improving safety for everyone. On top of that, we can track our cash more effectively, helping to minimise cash loss.
Working with our security suppliers Mitie and local police forces, we’re trialling new ways to target repeat offenders and how we can simplify reporting.
Talk to your store manager this month for more information on what we’re doing to continue caring for our colleagues’ safety and wellbeing.