Jane Hunt, MP for Loughborough, has condemned a ‘brutal attack’ attack last week on a shop worker in Shepshed, Leicestershire.
The offender pushed and hit in the head of a shop worker at Central England Co-op’s Anson Road Food Store as the victim asked for an ID before selling an energy drink.
The attacker then brandished a wrench and shouted verbal threats at the staff before leaving the store with a drink, but without paying.
“I was very sorry to hear of the incident at Central England Co-op in Shepshed. Any abuse or violence directed at store staff is completely unacceptable and should not be tolerated in any circumstances. That is why I support the Co-op’s zero tolerance approach against this type of abhorrent behavior,” Hunt said.
“Staff in stores continue to operate despite extremely challenging circumstances and deserve nothing but praise. My best wishes go out to the store member involved and hope that the preparator is quickly brought to justice.”
A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police said enquiries are ongoing into the incident, including CCTV checks.
The victim, who is in his 30s, suffered minor injuries in the attack happened at around 11.25am on 22 July.
The store manager said the staff is doing well and hopes to return to work soon.
“He is currently at home resting, with the hope of returning next week. He will also be given the necessary help he needs on his return,” Ben Birdsall, operations manager for Anson Road Food Store said.
“I would just like to thank everybody that helped us during this difficult time. The support network has been fantastic.”
Birdsall, in a statement on Monday (27 July), said he and his staff will not tolerate any kind of abuse, threat or attack and they will continue to go above and beyond to support their local community.
“We will not let any would-be criminals stop us providing vital support to our communities,” he said.
“Abuse cannot and will not be tolerated. These colleagues are at the heart of our communities and are mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. They come to work because they enjoy the job and they do not deserve to feel threatened or abused on a daily basis.”
“I’m working hard with the team to make sure the store is a safe, calm and comfortable environment for community.”
The incident at Shepshed comes just days after a staff was verbally abused, physically attacked and then robbed while he lay injured on the floor in an attack at the Markfield Food Store of the retailer.
Central England Co-op is currently campaigning for legislative protection for shop workers who have responsibilities to uphold the law on age restricted products.
MP Alex Norris’ ‘Assault on Shop Workers Bill’ which seeks to guarantee such protection has now seen its second reading in Parliament postponed until September.
The retailer said it has seen assaults jump by 100 per cent, threats and intimidation by 25 per cent and verbal abuse by 175 per cent since the start of the year, and since the lockdown was introduced, there have been over 100 incidents related directly to people using COVID-19 as a threat.