A third of Co-op shops have been targets of crime, shoplifting, and other anti-social behavior since last year. What is alarming is that these crimes are surging.
Almost 175,000 incidents took place in the past six months, since the beginning of this year. With roughly 1,000 daily incidents occurring in shops.
A shop in London was targeted three times in a single day.
The staff faced an increasing number of physical assaults by roughly a third year-on-year, while verbal abuse and antisocial behavior surged by a fifth.
As per Co-op, the crime rate is “out of control,” as some of the locations have become no-go areas.
The managing director at Co-op Food, Matt Hood, stated: “I have seen some horrific incidents of brazen and violent theft in our stores, where my store colleagues feel scared and threatened.”
“I see first-hand how this criminal behavior also erodes the very fabric of our communities – it’s hard to over-emphasise how important urgent change is.”
Many local organized gangs are operating without the fear of being apprehended, and Co-op has urged police to step in and “play their part” and target the repeat offenders.
According to a Freedom of Information request by Co-op, in 71% of significant retail crimes, the police did not show up.
The chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, James Lowman, stated that organized criminal activities are exploiting vulnerable people and funding the illegal drug trade.
- Published By Team Timeswire