// Central England Co-op supports the Usdaw Respect for Shopworkers Week and the Shopkind winter campaign
// The support comes in an effort to better protect colleagues against crime
Central England Co-op has announced it is backing a two-week campaign to highlight the issue of colleague safety in an effort to better protect staff.
The retailer, which has over 240 stores, is asking customers to treat colleagues with respect as part of a fortnight of national campaigns.
It is supporting the Usdaw Respect for Shopworkers Week and the Shopkind winter campaign.
Usdaw’s Respect for Shopworkers Week encourages shoppers to treat colleagues with respect.
The Shopkind winter campaign, which runs from November 22, is based on the theme of ‘Tis the season to be #ShopKind’.
The aim of the campaign is to recognise the efforts of shopworkers at Christmas time.
Support will come in the form of in-store posters, awareness events in Leicester, Stafford, Birmingham, Lichfield, Desborough and Peterborough, social media posts and in-store radio.
Loss Prevention Manager, Craig Goldie said: “Safety has been and continues to be our top priority and we have worked together to provide a safe environment to shop and access our goods and services.
“Unfortunately, more of our retail colleagues have suffered from unacceptable verbal abuse and aggressive behaviour.
“We believe that each and every colleague should have the right to go to work and return home safely and we continue to invest in new safety measures including personal protection devices and access to counselling services.
“We are pleased to be able to support both the Usdaw National Respect for Shopworkers Week and the Shopkind winter campaign.
“We hope people see the posters in store, support the campaigns and respect our colleagues while they serve our communities.”
Recent figures from the retailer showed that nearly 12,000 incidents have been reported so far this year including 81 assaults, 959 cases of verbal abuse and threats, 307 antisocial behaviour reports and 160 direct incidents related to Covid-19.
Compared to last year, the total number of incidents have jumped by 26.1 per cent, with rises in verbal abuse, threats and antisocial behaviour.