Home » Co-op urges communities in Gwent blighted by retail crime to call on Police and Crime Commissioner candidates to crack-down on criminals
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Co-op urges communities in Gwent blighted by retail crime to call on Police and Crime Commissioner candidates to crack-down on criminals

CO-OP URGES communities in Gwent blighted by retail crime to write to the region’s Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) candidates and call on them to commit to a crack-down on criminals.

The retail industry has seen an unprecedented rise in retail crime driven by repeat and prolific offenders, and ahead of the PCC elections on 2 May Co-op is urging shop workers and communities to write to PCC candidates in the region – CUSHING, Donna (Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales) ; HAMILTON, Mike (Welsh Liberal Democrats / Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru) ; JARVIS, Hannah (Conservative Candidate – More Police, Safer Streets) ; MUDD, Jane Helen (Labour and Co-operative Party/ Llafur a’r Blaid Gydweithredol) – and call on them to commit to the following pledges:

  • Fully implement the commitments in the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Retail Crime Action Plan
  • Ensure the new stand-alone offence of assault against a shopworker is enforced and progress is reported through their Police and Crime Plan.

Co-op colleagues and member-owners have campaigned for six years to call for change following unprecedented levels of retail crime, attacks and assaults, as criminals acted with impunity and seemingly free from fear of any consequences.

Last October saw the launch of NPCC’s Retail Crime Action plan, which outlined an intention to ensure police attendance at serious incidents and that all evidence is collected so that every reasonable line of enquiry is followed. Then earlier this month (10 April) the Government announced plans to make assaulting a retail worker a standalone criminal offence in England and Wales – providing shop workers with the protection they deserve and sending a clear message that there will be tough consequences for this unacceptable behaviour.

Co-op believes this amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill will, if enforced, build on the advancements seen to address crime, violence and intimidation since the introduction of the Retail Crime Action Plan last October. However, without the commitment of the PCC’s to focus on retail crime, both of these new steps could face failure.

Paul Gerrard, Co-op Director of Campaign and Public Affairs, said: ”Retail crime impacts shopworkers both physically and mentally, with many communities blighted by the unacceptable levels of persistent and prolific offending. Newly elected PCCs have the opportunity to crack-down on this crime through the implementation of the Retail Crime Action Plan and by enforcing the new standalone offence of assaulting a shopworker – we are calling on the next PCCs to deliver the protection that those working in retail and, serving communities in towns, villages and cities across the region deserve.”

Earlier this year, Co-op revealed that retail crime had hit record levels. This coincided with the launch of a hard-hitting new report commissioned by Co-op, and written by Professor of Criminology at City, University of London, Emmeline Taylor, which set out a ten point plan focused on turning the tide on those prolific offenders who relentlessly blight communities and wreak physical and mental harm on store workers. Central to the report’s recommendations was making an attack on shopworkers a stand-alone offence – something the Co-op has campaigned for since 2018, and which was passed into law in Scotland in 2021.

Co-op has invested more than £200 million over recent years in colleague and store safety and security, this includes the latest interactive CCTV; body-worn cameras – which Co-op has used since 2019 to capture real time audio and visual footage at the touch of a button; the roll-out of fortified kiosks; use of dummy (or empty) packaging to deter bulk-theft and, covert (undercover) and non-covert guarding – with the tactical use of specially trained guards to detain criminals.

Co-Op Food Store opening, Upper High St, Epsom Picture shows:

Write to your PCC and urge them to tackle , and get tough, on retail crime via the following link: Urge your PCC to tackle retail crime in your community