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Central England Co-op supports week-long Freedom From Fear campaign

Central England Co-op is supporting Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear campaign by asking shoppers to treat its staff with respect. It is also telling criminals and anyone… View Article

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Central England Co-op supports week-long Freedom From Fear campaign

Central England Co-op is supporting Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear campaign by asking shoppers to treat its staff with respect.

It is also telling criminals and anyone who might physically or verbally threaten staff that ‘it is not worth the risk’.

The retailer’s stores are displaying posters for the campaign that also include information on how to sign an online petition calling for a new law to better protect retail staff.

The move follows research by Usdaw that found that nine out of 10 retail workers have been verbally abused in the last 12 months and one in 10 have been physically attacked. There have also been eight major incidents this year in Central England Co-op stores ranging from threatening colleagues with knives to punching them in the head. In addition, incidents of verbal abuse jumped by 167% in 2020 while the number of anti-social behaviour incidents and assaults rose by 39% and 35% respectively.

The retailer has also revealed that over 300 crimes related directly to Covid-19 have been recorded in stores since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Craig Goldie, Central England Co-op loss prevention manager, said: “We hope people see the posters in store, respect our valued colleagues and also sign the petition to ensure new laws are put in place to better protect them.

“This has been something we have long campaigned for and this week-long campaign is a great way of continuing to talk about this really important issue.”

The week of activity comes at the same time as Central England Co-op rolls out a range of different measures in-store including the expansion of a service that allows staff to call for assistance at the touch of the button. It is also placing tracking devices on more products to deter would-be thieves.

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