Shopworkers entitled to Freedom from Fear

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For the fourth year running we have partnered with Usdaw (the trade Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) to tackle anti-social behaviour in local communities.

United in support, our Security Team visited The Forum in Norwich, our Coggeshall Supermarket and Sailmakers Shopping Centre in Ipswich. There were representatives from regional Police forces and Usdaw as part of their month-long Freedom From Fear campaign.

Running during ‘Respect for Shopworkers Week’, the Ipswich Central Street Rangers also joined us in their support for the initiative in Ipswich Town Centre.

Anti-social behaviour is a year round concern, with our Security Team reporting 449 incidents in 2015, and sadly, the number of occurrences increases around the festive period. An interactive roadshow supported this year’s theme of urging people to ‘Keep Your Cool around Christmas’, with an aim to raise awareness of the violence and abuse experienced by shop workers, encouraging respect from shoppers this winter.

Members of the community were invited to take part in our bespoke e-learning package to highlight a clear message: ‘abuse is not part of the job’. They were able to watch six short films depicting real-life abusive scenarios and intimidating situations, positioning them as the Customer Service Assistant.

John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary says: “Every minute of every day another shopworker is threatened, assaulted or verbally abused. No one should have to put up with violence or abuse at work.”

Lee Hammond, Head of Security at the East of England Co-op said; “We’re committed to making our communities a safer place to live and work by tackling anti-social behaviour. We hope the roadshow has demonstrated just how intimidating anti-social behaviour can be and will encourage people to think about how their actions might affect others, not just at Christmas, but throughout the year.”

Will you be keeping your cool this Christmas?