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Central England Co-op backs Usdaw anti-abuse campaign

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

Central England Co-op has backed a campaign by The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw), “Freedom From Fear” which encourages customers to treat its staff with respect.

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.

Research by Usdaw has revealed that nine out of 10 retail workers have been verbally abused in the last 12 months and one in 10 have been physically attacked.

In Central England Co-op stores, there have been eight major incidents this year ranging from threatening colleagues with knives to punching them in the head.

The retailer revealed, in the last 12 months, incidents of verbal abuse jumped by 167%, anti-social behaviour by 39%, assaults by 35% and threats by 16% compared to 2019.

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

Craig Goldie, loss prevention manager, said: “We are pleased to be able to support the Usdaw Freedom From Fear campaign. 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.”

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