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The award was given for the retailer’s Safer Colleagues Safer Communities campaign The Co-op Group’s Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaign has been awarded the Grocer Gold Business Initiative of the Year 2020, for its three-stage plan to tackle retail crime. An Usdaw survey of 5,000 retail staff found that six in 10 shopworkers experienced verbal abuse at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, while 28% were threatened. This was reflected in the Co-op Group’s own figures: in one week it recorded 990 incidents of antisocial behaviour and verbal abuse, as Covid restrictions proved a trigger for incidents. Earlier this year, the Group warned of a store crime epidemic unless the Government urgently introduced new legislation to provide staff with greater protection.

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