Rising tide of violence against shop staff

In September, we joined 22 of the UK’s major retailers and associations in publishing an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for more effective legal protection for our colleagues from an ever-rising tide of abuse, threats and violence.

We now need your reader’s direct support to keep this momentum going.

Our store colleagues have been working tirelessly to protect customers during the pandemic.

Despite their hard work, violence and threats have become part of the job - they do not deserve this.

As a regional, independent co-operative, we’ve been tackling crime from every angle - causes, prevention, reporting and justice. Although there have been some positive steps forward, more needs to be done.

Please consider writing to your MP, signing the national petition or viewing the film we put together of our colleagues’ experiences.

This is a hard-hitting video we felt was essential to highlight the severity of the issue. Information on all of these actions can be found here: coop.ly/2GmP0MB.

If we all play our part and we all work together then we can stop this wave of violence which has been getting progressively worse over the last few years.

We need politicians, police and the rest of society to remember these crimes are not victimless. They affect real people.

Mark Smith

Chief Executive

Southern Co-op

Black Cat Day

Cat lovers have a lot to celebrate this Black Cat Day (October 27) with Cats Protection’s news that black and black-and-white cats are no longer overlooked as they once were.

Since we created the awareness day in 2010 to highlight that black cats took longer to rehome than other cats, they now spend 11 days less on average in care than before, prior to moving to their new loving homes.

Around 65,000 black or black-and-white cats have been homed through our adoption centres in the decade since the campaign started, a remarkable 44 per cent of all cats homed through our centres during that time.

We would like to thank readers for their support and for helping us make a real difference. Not only do these cats now spend less time in our care, but each year thousands celebrate the day and engage with our #BlackCatDay hashtag on social media.

Throughout the campaign, Cats Protection has explored reasons why black cats might be less popular, working to change perceptions and buck the rehoming trend. These included black cats being seen as unlucky or not photogenic in selfies.

We would love to invite readers to celebrate and showcase their black cat knowledge by hosting a quiz for friends and family while also raising vital funds for their local branch or centre.

More details about the quiz and Black Cat Day can be found at www.cats.org.uk/black-cats

James Yeates


Cats Protection