One of the body-worn cameras being used by Central England Co-op staff
One of the body-worn cameras being used by Central England Co-op staff

A Lichfield retailer is expanding a scheme which sees shop staff wearing body cameras in a bid to combat crime and improve safety.

Central England Co-op launched a trial last year before expanding it to 50 of its 260 stores.

It has now confirmed staff in a further 38 outlets will be issued with the cameras.

Nicola Walton, loss prevention advisor for Central England Co-op, said:

“Our body camera roll out last year was a great success – it allowed our colleagues to feel safer while serving their communities and played its part as another deterrent to prevent crimes before they take place.

“We’re aware that any kind of crime can be frightening for store colleagues, and this is why we’re extending the roll out of the technology to 38 more stores across our trading estate.

“Over the past few years, we have invested heavily in a range of measures to keep our colleagues and customers safe ranging from centrally monitored CCTV systems that can be activated at the touch of a button to increased numbers of security guards.

“This will provide us with another tool in our efforts to have a zero tolerance approach to any type of crime towards our colleagues and customers.

“We now ask shoppers to work with us to make sure that nobody has to face abuse or violence in their place of work.”

Nicola Walton

The move comes after tougher penalties were introduced for those who attack shop workers.

Central England Co-op say there has been a “significant” fall in the numbers of verbal abuse incidents in store in the first six months of 2022 compared to the same period in the previous year.

But the number of assaults as risen, up to 56 from 41 in the first six months of 2021.

Incidents of theft have also increased from 5,356 to 5,855.

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