Central England Co-op rolls out body cameras to over 50 stores

Central England Co-op saw its gross sales decrease from £487.3 million to £477.9 million year-on-year in the six months to 7 August.
"What we do, the success we have, is done for and on behalf of our members." : Jane Avery.
// Central England Co-op will be rolling out staff body cameras to over 50 stores in a bid to cut down on threats & acts of violence towards staff
// Recent figures from the retailer revealed that more than 10,000 incidents have been reported so far this year

Central England Co-op is rolling out staff body cameras to over 50 stores following a successful trial in two Birmingham shops.

The retailer is widening the use of body cameras in an effort to deter threats and acts of violence towards retail staff members and security guards.

Central England Co-op loss prevention advisor Nicola Walton said: “Our body camera trial was a great success. It allowed our colleagues to feel safer while serving their communities and played its part as another deterrent to prevent crimes before they take place.

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“We are aware that any kind of crime can be frightening for store colleagues and this is why we are extended the rollout of the technology to over 50 stores across our trading estate.

“Over the past few years we have invested heavily in a range of measures to keep our colleagues and customers safe ranging from centrally monitored CCTV systems that can be activated at the touch of a button to increased numbers of security guards – today’s news is just another way we can continue to invest in keeping people safe at work and whole they shop.

“This will provide us with another tool in our efforts to have a zero tolerance approach to any type of crime towards our colleagues and customers. We now ask shoppers to work with us to make sure that nobody has to face abuse in their place of work.”

Central England Co-op has also been working with other major retailers, unions, industry bodies, police and crime commissioners and over 200 MPs to push the Government to crackdown further on people who abuse or attack shop floor workers through the introduction of tougher penalties such as an automatic prison term.

Recent figures from the retailer revealed that more than 10,000 incidents have been reported so far this year including 72 assaults, 879 cases of verbal abuse and threats, 272 anti-social behaviour reports and 159 direct incidents related to Covid-19.

This means that the total number of incidents have risen by 31.1 per cent compared to last year.

Other recent moves aimed at clamping down on crime include the expansion of centrally monitored CCTV to more stores, the further use of tracking devices in high risk products, the rollout of specialist software and technology to protect lone workers, and new training packages and toolkits.

Store manager Gill Evans, who helped trial the body cams in-store, said: “Colleagues should not face any kind of abuse and these cameras act as another great deterrent to try and put people off.

“However, if people still want to abuse or threaten our colleagues they provide great evidence for our work with the police in ensuring they face justice.”

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