#ShopKind at Central Co-op
Posted by sam bishop | Published: 10/07/2023
The BRC Crime Survey 2023 revealed that violence and abuse against people working in retail has almost doubled on pre-pandemic levels, from the pre-Covid high of over 450 per day in 2019/20, to over 850 per day in 2021/22, and this is why Central Co-op is once again standing in solidarity with store colleagues as a part of the National Business Crime Centre’s ongoing #ShopKind campaign.
The aim of the campaign is to encourage positive behaviours in shops, acknowledge the important role of shopworkers, and raise awareness about the scale and impact of violence and abuse against shopworkers.
During International Workers Day at the start of May, Central Co-op reinforced its commitment to colleague safety, and the Society is committed to keeping its 7,000 colleagues safe at all times, including investment in headsets to ease communication between colleagues; security guarding in and around stores; and centrally-monitored CCTV that can be activated at the touch of a button.
Bodycams have been installed in many Central Co-op stores as well, and Aaron Masters from the Central Co-op store in Armthorpe says: “Body cameras are a great asset to Central Co-op. My experience with body cameras is that they are great at gathering evidence for our sake and the local authorities.”
“Colleague safety is paramount, and when it comes to having an extra gadget such as body-worn cameras, it provides that extra bit of reassurance, especially for colleagues in our store. They know they can confidently turn the camera on if they feel uncomfortable at any time, and the actions recorded can be dealt via necessary means.”
Central Co-op has also been a vocal supporter of a change in the legal penalties for assaulting shop workers, campaigning for new legislation that has now been put into effect, in which abuse against individuals who serve the public has become an aggravated offence.
Within the community, the Offender to Rehab scheme in partnership with West Midlands Police continues to offer support to regular offenders, identifying the cause of their offences and making sure they go to the correct rehabilitation facilities.
Along with safety measures, Central Co-op also recently announced a move to £10.75 basic hourly rate of pay, plus paid breaks for colleagues in frontline positions. Central Co-op's ongoing commitment to health and wellbeing has seen several new benefits introduced, including a free annual health check for all colleagues, as well as access to a digital GP service that all colleagues and their immediate family members can use.
About Central Co-op
Central Co-op is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK, with a heritage stretching back over 175 years and interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.
Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its 7,700 colleagues serve customers across 440 plus trading sites in 21 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
Its purpose is to create a sustainable Society for all.
It actively campaigns for food justice and works with FareShare Midlands and a network of local food banks. It also adds £1 to every Healthy Start Voucher redeemed in store and supports six schools in partnership with Magic Breakfasts.
The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter. The Society is also a member of Diversity in Retail and it is fully committed to addressing the impacts of climate change by reducing carbon and food waste, increasing recycling and investment in community Sustainable Spaces funded by the carrier bag levy. It recently launched its Malawi Partnership to support farmers and producers in the country through the Co-operative International Trading Development Fund.
It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £109,769.25 shared out between 121 good causes in 2022.
Press office contact: Sam Bishop, PR Specialist