The retailer is reinforcing its message that violence towards staff will not be tolerated after a staff member at its Keresforth Hall Road Food Store, in Barnsley, was slashed with a knife during a robbery.
In a statement, the Co-op said: "Thankfully, the colleague suffered only minor injuries and was treated at the scene by paramedics. The store team are now supporting police with their investigation.
"This shocking incident comes just days after 200 parliamentarians from across the political divide backed efforts calling for better protection for shop workers from physical and verbal threats and attacks while at work."
Craig Goldie, Loss Prevention Manager, said: “Everyone at Central England Co-op was shocked and appalled at the unacceptable attack on a colleague in Barnsley last night.
“Luckily, the shocking incident saw the colleague suffer only minor injuries and they are now recovering at home. We are offering full support to them and the entire team and working closely with the local police force to bring those responsible to justice.
“We strongly condemn any form of abuse of violence towards our colleagues who are just doing their job and are working closely with the local police force in order to find those responsible.
“This type of incident reinforces our ongoing campaign calling for better protection for shop workers 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.”
The Co-op said that since the lockdown was introduced, there have been more than 100 incidents related directly to people using COVID-19 as a threat.
The society has campaigned for the Government to change legislation so shop workers are afforded greater protection in carrying out their duties.
The spokesman added; "More needs to be done now to protect these critical workers and to curb a potential crime epidemic."
Police officers in Barnsley have released CCTV images of a man they would like to speak to in connection with an armed robbery of a convenience store in the Kingstone area of Barnsley.
It is reported that around 9:30pm on Monday 20 July, a man entered the store in Keresforth Hill Road and stabbed a member of staff. The man stole a number of bottles of spirits before fleeing the store in the direction of Raley Street.
The victim, a 49-year-old man suffered minor injuries to his abdomen that did not require hospital treatment.
Enquiries are ongoing but officers are keen to identify the man in the images as he may be able to assist with enquiries.
Detective Inspector Tom Woodward, said: “I’d like to offer my reassurance to the local community at this time. Our investigation is continuing at pace and we are exploring a number of lines of enquiry to locate the offender.
“We’d like to encourage the public to come forward if they have any information which might help us in our enquiries.
“Were you in the area at the time? Do you recognise the man in the CCTV image or his clothing?
“If you have any information, please contact 101 quoting incident number 922 of 20 July 2020.
“Alternatively, you can stay completely anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers via their website Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling their UK Contact Centre on 0800 555 111.”
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