Wigan shop staff safety support

Ms Cooper with Co-op Area Manager Ian Hall, Store Manager James Hushdon, and staff at Up Holland Co-op
Ms Cooper with Co-op Area Manager Ian Hall, Store Manager James Hushdon, and staff at Up Holland Co-op

An MP backed a store staff safety campaigan during a visit to Up Holland Co-op.

Rosie Cooper was supporting USDAW’s Respect for Shopworkers Week which sees the retail union calling for an end to abuse in the workplace. As part of the Freedom From Fear Campaign, Usdaw organises the week, which saw members highlight the abuse, threats and violence that they have to endure as part of their jobs and ask the public for their support during the busy Christmas period.

Interim results of Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Survey show that, during 2018, six in 10 shopworkers experienced verbal abuse, 37 per cent were threatened by a customer, with over 230 assaulted every day. The number of incidents is in line with last year and remain higher than two years ago. The survey continues and full results will be released in the New Year.

During her visit to the store on Ormskirk Road, the West Lancs member discussed local community safety issues with store staff and heard about the Co-op’s operational programme to help tackle crime. Staff explained some of the measures the store have taken including the introduction of headsets so staff can speak to each other and raise alarm if necessary.

Ms Cooper said: “Shopworkers face an unprecedented level of threat from violent incidents as each day across the UK six are threatened with a knife and two with a gun. Figures show that, across the country violent, weaponised crime is on the rise with a 16 per cent increase in incidents involving knives.

“Products can be replaced and stores repaired, but violent crime in shops often has a shocking, and lasting, impact on those working at the frontline.

"That is why I am backing this initiative as we must all do everything we can to help reduce these attacks.”