By Matt Pratley, Retail Risk Operations
Nothing’s more important than protecting our colleagues. Our Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaign continues to raise awareness that violence and abuse is not part of the job for our frontline shop workers. We recently shared an update detailing some of the ways in which we’re Caring for our colleague’s safety through targeted investment over the next three years. Part of this involves working with local police forces to target repeat offenders and I’m delighted to share that one such trial has shown some incredible results.
In partnership with Sussex Police, the National Business Crime Solution (NBCS) and the Co-op Crime Intelligence Team (CCIT) at Mitie, 22 of our food stores have worked on a trial designed to make reporting crime easier. With ‘One Touch Reporting’, new ways of simplifying reporting processes are being developed, which help gather greater intelligence, identify trends and ultimately reduce the impact of repeat offenders. There’s been a marked increase in crimes being reported to the police since the trial began, with five arrests of prolific offenders already made. By removing repeat offenders like this from our streets, it immediately increases the safety of our colleagues and our communities.
Usually, colleagues would report an incident internally, but this would then have to be reported to the police separately on 101 or online. If the store is part of a local Business Crime Reduction Programme, it’d also have to be reported a third time. Now thanks to the pilot, when a colleague inputs all of the information into our internal reporting systems, it automatically feeds into the NBCS ‘iNTEL ONE’ platform where it’s reviewed and swiftly sent on to the police to generate a crime report. It’s really important to make sure we’re reporting crime to paint a true reflection of the abuse our store colleagues face on a daily basis, but the reporting process needs to be as user friendly as possible for colleagues, so this trial is potentially a huge step forward for us.
As one of the store managers taking part, Emma in West Sussex explains the differences made so far:
Being involved in the new trial has massively helped – it’s made it easier for all of us in store. We just fill in one form, it’s easier and saves time that we can focus on running the store and serving our customers. Crime can be terrifying, and the way some people look or shout at you is very intimidating – they don’t see our role as important, we’re just shopworkers, it is as if we don’t have feelings. The trial’s been a great success, we’re seeing the results – the support’s fantastic, it feels like we’re really making a difference. Making life safer for our colleagues, and the wider community.
This trial is a great example of how a strong partnership can lead to proactive solutions and robust actions taken against offenders. Our hope is that we continue to see positive results throughout the trial, and once it’s completed, we can hopefully roll it out nationally. Look out for more updates.