Call to show respect as Rutland shopworkers suffer more abuse

  Posted: 18.11.20 at 13:51 by The Editor

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Shoppers are being urged to treat store staff with respect as part of ongoing efforts to keep people safe as the nights draw in and Covid-19 restrictions continue.

As part of Usdaw’s National Respect for Shopworkers Week, the Central England Co-op is telling criminals and anyone who might physically or verbally threaten staff that ‘it is not worth the risk’.

Customers will be able to find out more about the campaign via posters in stores, which include details of how to sign an online petition calling for a new law to better protect colleagues.

Support for this week-long campaign comes after the food business recorded 10 major incidents since July across the region ranging from colleagues being slashed or threatened with knives to others being hospitalised after being attacked by shoplifters.

Overall, this year, verbal abuse has jumped by 175%, assaults by 34% and threats by 12% compared to 2019.

It can also be revealed that a total of 279 crimes related directly to Covid-19 have been recorded in stores.

In Rutland and Grantham, verbal abuse has jumped by 100%, assaults by 10% and threats by 5% compared to 2019.

It can also be revealed that a total of 20 crimes related directly to Covid-19 have been recorded in stores in this area related to verbal threats towards colleagues and customers using covid-19 as a threat.

Craig Goldie, Loss Prevention Manager, said: “We are pleased to be able to support the Usdaw National Respect for Shopworkers Week.
“We hope people see the posters in store, respect our 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.”

This week of activity comes at the same time as Central England Co-op rolls out a range of different measures in stores including; expanding a service it uses that allows colleagues, at the touch of the button, to call for assistance, and putting tracking devices in more products to deter would-be thieves.

This crackdown will be supported by several measures already in place in stores including:

centrally monitored CCTV system increased use of security officers and store detectives in stores

stringent cash controls

new colleague training on how to deal with situations involving violence or aggression

working with offenders to help them beat their addiction and support their integration back into the community

People can back the campaign and support the petition by visiting www.usdaw.org.uk/fff

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