Central England Co-op has launched a range of new security measures in an effort to combat crime.

All stores have installed specialist tracking devices on a range of items from cigarettes to ATMs to allow the police to be led directly to criminals, while a review of the way security guards are used will aim to warn criminals that it is not ‘worth the risk’ to target Central England Co-op stores.

Certain stores across the Central England Co-op trading estate will also close up to an hour early based on feedback from colleagues and local police.

Central England Co-op loss prevention advisor Craig Goldie, said: “We are aware that incidents such as robberies and ATM thefts are frightening for store colleagues, who are our first priority.

“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.

“Now we have put in place new and improved tools to work with the police and partners to help bring the perpetrators to justice.

“We want our message to be clear – it is not worth the risk to target Central England Co-operative Food Stores and we are doing everything in our power to combat crime in our communities and keep people safe when they shop.”

The launch follows Central England Co-op’s announcement that stores would be introducing external motion detectors and a centrally-monitored CCTV system earlier this year.