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    Co-op adds all its stores to ‘Safe Spaces’ scheme

    Representative iStock image

    Co-op has this week added its stores to the National Business Crime Centre (NBCC) scheme which aims to provide provision in the retail sector for anyone feeling unsafe or vulnerable when out and about on the UK’s streets.

    Also known as Operation Portum, the NBCC Safe Spaces scheme is dedicated to ensuring communities are places where people feel safe and confident, and is focussed on increasing the number of spaces within the retail sector where people are always welcome to can go safely to seek support.

    With around 2,400 stores located at the heart of communities in towns, villages and cities across the UK, Co-op has boosted the number of locations signed up to the scheme to more than 13,000.

    Kate McCrae Graham, Co-op Operations Director, said, “Co-op is committed to operating at the heart of local life and, nothing is more important to us than the safety of our colleagues, member-owners, customers and communities. Anyone seeking a safe haven in their local Co-op will always be welcomed, encouraged to report their concerns and, above all, believed – as a convenience retailer, our doors are open from early morning until late into the night, and we want people to know that Co-op is always a welcome light and safe haven for anyone who feels unsafe or in need of support.”

    The Safe Spaces scheme provides an over-arching framework offering a consistent and appropriate way for supporting anyone seeking refuge in store. This involves allowing a member of the public to wait safely on the shop floor (covered by CCTV) after notifying a colleague they need help, use of a phone if required to contact emergency services and anyone seeking refuge is not judged.

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