Co-op store in Ipswich hosts roadshow event as part of campaign against anti-social behaviour

Joining the East of England Co-op security team and store colleagues were Usdaw, local PCSOs, Ipswic

Joining the East of England Co-op security team and store colleagues were Usdaw, local PCSOs, Ipswich Borough Council Anti-Social Behaviour and Trading Standards. Picture: ANGLIA PICTURE AGENCY - Credit: Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture

A Co-op store in Ipswich has hosted a roadshow event as part of a campaign to protect shopworkers from anti-social behaviour.

The East of England Co-op is working alongside Usdaw, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, to try and stamp out anti-social behaviour in shops and local communities as part of their Freedom from Fear Campaign.

Yesterday’s event saw representatives from Usdaw, local PCSO’s, a representative from Ipswich Borough Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour committee and the head of Trading Standards join members of the East of England Co-op at the store in Hawthorne Drive.

Scott Walker, anti-social behavioural officer at the East of England Co-op, said: “We have had overwhelmingly positive feedback to our Freedom from Fear event today, and I would like to thank everyone who attended and lent their support to driving out anti-social behaviour for good.

“Through the relationships built with our partners as a result of this campaign, we will continue making positive change now and in the future, both for our colleagues and customers.”

A recent survey of retail workers by Usdaw revealed half of shopworkers were verbally abused in the last year, with 29% threatened with violence and 8% suffering physical assaults.

Anti-social behaviour can cover a wide scope of crimes and disruption including violence, robbery, criminal damage, threatening behaviour, swearing and graffiti.

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Mr Walker said they are working to tackle the issue head-on as well as helping shopworkers who have been affected.

He said: “By working in partnership with multiple agencies we can tackle the root cause of the issue, rather than just dealing with the aftermath.

“Our in-store colleagues do not come to work to be abused - it is not part of the job and should never be accepted.

“Victims of anti-social behaviour can be left very distressed from the experience.

“The work we do helps colleagues adversely affected by these incidents return to work, reassured by the measures to tackle unwanted behaviour.

For more information on the Freedom for Fear campaign visit