Central England Co-op has overseen a 6% drop in burglaries and 30% decrease in robberies across its stores following a major crackdown on retail crime.

Central England Co-op

Central England Co-op

The figures from the society, which has over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties, have been released one year on from its roll out of new measures to try and stop incidents and protect staff and customers.

The measures included the introduction of full CCTV coverage, increased security guard provision and a central monitoring system that allows colleagues to press a button to alert a special control room. Stores also now have external motion sensors which can be activated outside of trading hours.

Central England Co-op loss prevention advisor Craig Goldie 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.

“All of these measures have, as the figures show, already started to deter criminals and, most importantly, ensure our colleagues and customers feel safe. But we will continue to constantly assess these problems to ensure that incidents continue to fall and that our stores are safe places to work and shop.”

According to the Association of Convenience Store Crime Report 2019, there were over a million incidents of theft in convenience stores over in 2018, while the cost of retail crime amounted to the equivalent of over £5,300 for every c-store in the UK.

Goldie added: “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.”