Staff at a Lichfield shop have been left “shocked and appalled” after a female worker was struck in the face by a customer.
The incident happened at Central England Co-op’s store on Curborough Road.
After the male customer was asked for ID to buy age-restricted items, he became aggressive towards staff, striking the worker in the face as he pushed her and threatening her colleagues before leaving the store
Police are now investigating the incident.
Craig Goldie, from Central England Co-op said: said:
“Everyone has been shocked and appalled at this unacceptable incident in Lichfield.
“It is totally unacceptable for a colleague to be injured in any way, shape or form when doing their job and we are offering full support to them and the entire team and working closely with the local police force to bring the criminals responsible to justice.
“We strongly condemn any form of abuse or violence towards our colleagues who are just doing their job.
“These types of incidents reinforce our ongoing campaign calling for better protection for shopworkers and highlights our zero tolerance policy on all types of crime aimed at our colleagues and customers.
“Once again, we are sending a clear message out to anyone who might consider targeting our colleagues and stores – it is not worth the risk and no crime will be tolerated.”Craig Goldie, Central England Co-op
The incident comes as the Lichfield-based retailer launched a poster competition for children to help illustrate the need for people to be kind to shop workers.
It comes after research showed that over the past 12 months incidents of verbal abuse jumped by 167%, anti-social behaviour by 39%, assaults by 35% and threats by 16%.
The retailer also revealed that 312 crimes related directly to Covid-19 have been recorded in stores since the start of the pandemic.