Warwickshire residents urged to be kind to shopkeepers - The Leamington Observer

Warwickshire residents urged to be kind to shopkeepers

Leamington Editorial 19th May, 2024   0

A CAMPAIGN is urging Warwickshire residents to be kind to shopkeepers.

The national #Shopkind campaign is coordinated by the Association of Convenience Store on the behalf of the Home Office and is supported by major high street retailers as well as smaller independent shopkeepers.

Its aim is to encourage positive behaviours in shops, acknowledge the important role of shopworkers and raise awareness about the scale and impact of violence and abuse against shopworkers.

In Warwickshire it has been supported by members of the Safer Warwickshire Partnership Board including Warwickshire County Council’s Community Safety Team, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Warwickshire Police.

Police and council chiefs visted The Midcounties Co-operative store on The Parade in Leamington, where they discussed retail crime and business safety with store manager Lauren and Gregory Eales from their Safe Stores team.

Activities throughout #ShopKind week included raising awareness and tackling anti-social behaviour in retail premises, focusing on prolific offenders, promoting crime prevention to local businesses, high visibility patrols and crime prevention visits, promotion of local support services, and community engagement.

When a business or staff member has been the victim of a crime, or suspect they have been a victim of crime, it is essential that this is reported to the police. This can be done online via Warwickshire Police’s website or by calling 101. In an emergency, dial 999.

Phil Ponsonby, chief executive officer at The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “Campaigns like #ShopKind demonstrate the power of co-operation in tackling important issues such as retail crime. Ensuring our colleagues are treated with respect, kindness and gratitude is paramount and we will continue to work closely with local police, the ACS, and USDAW to do good together in tackling abuse against shopworkers.

“Members of our Safe Stores Team have been visiting stores throughout the week to hear more about the issues that some colleagues have faced. Some of their experiences show just how important campaigns like #ShopKind are in driving awareness, and why we welcomed the government’s introduction of legislation last month making the abuse of retail workers a standalone criminal offence.”

Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe added: “Retail crime will not be tolerated in Warwickshire. Everyone deserves to feel safe at work and that is why I am proud to be a #ShopKind champion.

“I want to improve the outcomes of retail crime in Warwickshire. We now have five new town centre officers, providing visibility and helping to improve engagement with retail businesses. I also provide funding to the Warwickshire Retail Crime Initiative, which aims to support the development of better links between police and retailers, as well as providing funding towards Warwickshire Business Watch and Warwickshire’s Hate Crime Partnership, which help provide people with information and ways of reporting.

“It’s important to remember that retail crime is not victimless and causes real emotional and financial impact on businesses, retail workers and their customers. In short, everyone suffers through retail crime and its true impact should therefore never be underestimated.”


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