New campaign against anti-social behaviour coming to Ipswich Co-op

The campaign is backed by the East of England Co-op and Usdaw. Picture: ROB HOWARTH APA

The campaign is backed by the East of England Co-op and Usdaw. Picture: ROB HOWARTH APA - Credit: Anglia Picture Agency

One of the busiest Co-op stores in Ipswich is to be at the forefront of a new campaign against anti-social behaviour across the region.

The East of England Co-op is running interactive roadshows as part of a hard-hitting anti-social behaviour campaign.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Co-op has partnered with Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) to tackle anti-social behaviour in local communities and Co-op stores.

As part of Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear campaign, the Co-op is running an in-store roadshow at Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, on Friday as well as a community outreach roadshow at The Sailmakers, Ipswich, next Monday.

Attendees at the roadshows will be invited to find out more about the safeguarding measures put in place in their community.

The Co-op works closely with police, Usdaw and local authorities to tackle anti-social behaviour in the community and to support staff who experience anti-social behaviour in stores.

Scott Walker from the Co-op 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.

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“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 taken to tackle unwanted behaviour.”

Anti-social behaviour covers a wide range of incidents, from swearing and threatening language, to graffiti, criminal damage, violence and robbery.

Mr Walker works alongside Ipswich council to tackle the rise of anti-social behaviour in the Chantry area which has experienced growing problems with gang and youth violence.

He said: “My partnership work with Ipswich Borough Council, particularly in Chantry, sees us go into the community and offer the public, who may be too scared to go to the police, an alternative option for them to go for advice on how to report and how to react to anti-social behaviour they witness.”

Since its launch last year, 3,300 staff have completed an East of England Co-op training programme. The events take place between 9am and 3pm.

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