The Co-op are demanding action as they have taken a £33 million hit as shoplifting cases are now record high.
Shoplifting is now at it’s highest levels ever and the police only attend two out of 10 thefts despite staff being threatened with knives or syringes.
In the six months to July the Co-op unveiled their financial results and reported £200 million drop in revenue compared to the same period in 2022.
In the same period the Co-op reported an underlying pre-tax loss of £9 million, compared to £59 million the previous year.
Theft and fraud has led to a “leakage” of costs to the food business amounting to around £33 million in the first half of the year.
Speaking to the PA news agency, Matt Hood, the managing director of Co-op Food, said, “A rise in shop looting and retail crime perpetuated by repeat, prolific offenders and organised criminal gangs is becoming genuinely one of the most significant issues facing UK communities.
“One of the things that makes me most angry is those that claim this is a victimless crime – it is fundamentally not, as my store colleagues who have been verbally abused, or have had knives or syringes pulled on them, can all vouch for.
“But the frustration is that it does come across as a seemingly consequence-less crime.”
The past few years the Co-op has invested more than £200 million improving security across their stores and safety for their staff.
Shirine Khoury-Haq, Co-op’s chief executive, said, “I am very proud of our success over the last six months, particularly given the prevailing economic and market conditions.
“This performance wouldn’t have been possible had we not taken the decisions we did, as early as we did in 2022, when it came to better management of our members’ money and running the business more efficiently.
“While the economic environment remains challenging, we have again improved our underlying financial strength, significantly grown our membership base and delivered more for our members and their communities.”