New security measures see drop in crime at Central England Co-ops

‘We are so proud to have recorded big drops in the levels of burglaries and robberies at our stores’

New measures aimed at reducing crime at Central England Co-operative stores have seen burglaries drop by 6% and robberies drop by 30%, says the retailer.

A ram raid at one of the co-op’s stores in Scraptoft, Leicestershire, recently hit the headlines but overall crime figures are down, bucking a national trend. This trend has seen burglaries increase by 137% and robberies by 508%, according to the co-op. Both crimes are theft, but robbery involves threatening or forcing another person to give up something.

The Scraptoft ram raid  in which a JCB telehandler was driven into the store resulted in the gang leaving empty handed, and no colleagues or customers were injured.

Central England Co-operative released the crime figures one year after rolling out new measures to help prevent incidents and protect colleagues, members and customers. In 2018, stores were fitted with external motion detectors – and a centrally monitored CCTV system was installed, which allows colleagues to call for assistance at the touch of a button.

The new measures sit alongside a range of others such as product GPS trackers, gas suppression systems and stringent cash controls, all of which are designed to keep customers and colleagues safe, as well as actively promoting the fact that targeting convenience supermarkets is not ‘worth the risk’.

Related: Central England Co-op announces new security measures at food stores

Craig Goldie, loss prevention advisor at Central England Co-operative, said: “We are so proud to have recorded big drops in the levels of burglaries and robberies at our stores following the successful rollout of a range of new measures last year to combat the problem.

“We were and still are aware that incidents such as robberies and ATM thefts are frightening for store colleagues, who are our first priority, and this is why we were determined to act.

“In 2019, we will be working closely with other retailers, police forces across the 16 counties in which we trade and the government to tackle issues of violence and aggression towards colleagues.

“We are doing everything we can to prevent incidents like this from happening, but if something does happen we offer them support and counselling both from within our business and specialists.”