Terrifying incident in the Dyas Road store – along with rocketing abuse against staff through the pandemic – has seen security increased
A Co-op security guard was threatened by a knifeman in a terrifying ordeal after he tried to stop a shoplifter.
The worker thwarted the would-be thief but was confronted by another man armed with a blade.
It happened at the Dyas Road store in Great Barr on the night of Thursday October 22.
The employee was not injured. West Midlands Police has launched an investigation with the support of the supermarket.
The details were revealed as Central England Co-op called for better protection for staff amid a sharp rise in abuse, threats and violence against its workers during the pandemic.
Verbal abuse in Co-op stores across England has rocketed by more than 200 per cent, threats and intimidation have doubled and assaults risen by almost 50 per cent, new figures show.
The retailer has also recorded a total of 232 crimes directly related to Covid-19 since the virus took hold.
It said violence and aggression towards staff would ‘not be tolerated’.
Just days before the most recent Birmingham incident, the retailer issued a ‘not worth the risk’ warning to criminals”.
In a bid to protect staff, it is trialling body-worn cameras which could be rolled out across all stores if successful.
Shoppers would also see tracking devices in more products to deter would-be shoplifters, Co-op said.
Craig Goldie, Loss Prevention Manager, said: “Everyone at Central England Co-op has been shocked and appalled at this unacceptable incident in Birmingham.
“Luckily, the security guard was not injured and we are offering full support to the guard and the entire store team and working closely with the local police force to bring the criminals responsible to justice.
“We strongly condemn any form of abuse of violence towards our colleagues who are just doing their job.
“These types of incidents reinforce our ongoing campaign calling for better protection for shopworkers and highlights our zero tolerance policy on all types of crime aimed at our colleagues and customers.
“Once again, we are sending a clear message out to anyone who might consider targeting our colleagues and stores – it is not worth the risk and no crime will be tolerated.”
BirminghamLive has contacted West Midlands Police for more information about the incident.
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Our Security Guards are trained to handle all types of situations. We strictly follow all regulatory compliance and guidance, which is why our service is provided in accordance to BS7499:2013 and we only deploy Security Officers who are vetted to BS7858:2012 standards and licensed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).