Midcounties Co-op has announced a £1m investment in security at its food stores as part of its efforts to tackle the epidemic of retail crime in the UK.
It says a range of new measures and systems are being introduced in partnership with security supplier Amberstone to help bring criminals to justice and make its local communities safer for colleagues and members.
A dedicated Safe Stores team being created within the society, and “state-of-the-art” security tech is being rolled out. Some stores will also be fitted with new CCTV systems connected to a remote operator who can speak to colleagues and offenders via the cameras and alert them when police have been called.
Midcounties is also introducing roaming guards and is working with a third-party supplier to develop a crime hub, which will automatically produced incident reports for the police, helping to streamline the reporting process.
The society has been campaigning alongside other co-ops for greater support for colleagues affected by attacks on shop workers, which looks set to be introduced when the Police, Crime, Courts and Sentencing Bill is passed into law. Midcounties says it also continues to work closely with local police forces to develop new preventative strategies.
Chief retail officer Rupert Newman said the society was dedicated to safety of its colleagues, customers and members. “That’s why we’re making such a significant investment to help prevent crime occurring in our stores and ensure that, when incidents do happen, the perpetrators are held to account.
“By using the latest technology and further deepening our relationships with the police, we are sending a clear message that we have a zero-tolerance approach to criminal incidents that could affect our colleagues, members, customers and local communities.”
Additional measures being trialled include the introduction of extra panic alarms for colleagues, and perimeter alarms that will alert operators out of hours if the perimeter of a store is breached.
The Safer Stores investment is in addition to the more than £4m the society is putting into the opening of eight new Your Co-op Food stores throughout 2022.