Dramatic rise in ‘looting’ and staff abuse at Co-op shops in past year

The Official Football Merchandise Store

Dramatic rise in 'looting' and staff abuse at Co-op shops in past year

Crime, shoplifting and anti-social behaviour has increased by over a third in Co-op shops in the past year.

The company has revealed that almost 1,000 incidents occurred every day in shops in the first six months of 2023, a total of more than 175,000.

One shop in inner London was “looted” three times in a single day.

Shop workers have also seen physical assaults increase by almost a third year-on-year, and anti-social behaviour and verbal abuse increase by a fifth.

Co-op has warned that the level of crime is “out-of-control” and could see some locations become no-go areas for convenience shops.

Matt Hood, managing director at Co-op Food said: “I have seen some horrific incidents of brazen and violent theft in our stores, where my store colleagues feel scared and threatened.

Read more:
Co-op Group picks former Interserve chief White as next chair
Hilco pumps in cash to help Wilko secure path to sale
More shops could be converted into homes

“I see first-hand how this criminal behaviour also erodes the very fabric of our communities – it’s hard to over-emphasise how important urgent change is.”

Co-op has said many local organised crime gangs operate without fear of being caught, and called on police and crime commissioners to “play their part” and target prolific offenders.

A Freedom of Information request by Co-op showed that police failed to respond in 71% of serious retail crimes reported.

James Lowman, the chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, said organised criminal activity exploits vulnerable people and funds the illegal drug trade.

The Official Football Merchandise Store
Manchester City
Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United
Leicester City
Newcastle United
West Ham United
Real Madrid

Source link