Shocking CCTV footage showing a disgruntled shopper smashing a store via a one-way coronavirus system after a row has sparked a backlash from major UK retailers.
Around 23 stores are pressuring the Prime Minister to impose tougher penalties on those who abuse shop workers after an “ever-increasing tide of abuse” by customers.
What follows is a shocking incident at a co-op store on Lingfield High Street, Surrey at the height of the lockdown in May.
The terrifying footage was captured on video surveillance and shows an angry shopper ripping down two shelves of wine bottles after being told to follow the newly introduced one-way system to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
As wine bottles shatter dramatically on the floor, leaving shards of red liquid and broken glass on the floor, shoppers can be heard screaming at employees standing behind checkouts. Surrey Live Reports.
Then they make their way to the cash registers before clapping both hands against the Plexiglas screen, from which the cooperative workers were protected Covid19.
The buyer continues to throw items around the premises with overhead throws.
An increase in similar crimes against shop workers has led some of the UK’s leading retailers to launch a new crime so that those who commit attacks against shop workers receive tougher sentences.
On Friday September 18, senior executives from 23 supermarkets, stores and industry associations including Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Co-op, Aldi, Asda, Boots, Lidl, Homebase and Dixons Carphone sent a letter to the Prime Minister, Morrisons , Nationwide, Sainsbury’s, and WH Smith.
Jo Whitfield, executive director of Co-op Food, told The Times, “The role shop workers play in supplying their communities is amazing, but they face unprecedented levels of violence and abuse every day.”
A Surrey Police spokeswoman said: “We were called for reports of an incident of ongoing criminal damage at the Lingfield High Street cooperative shortly after 12:30 pm on May 12th.
“Two suspects had damaged the store and verbally abused the staff.
“A 41-year-old woman from Lingfield was arrested and given three conditional warnings for criminal harm and public order.
“A 61-year-old man from Godstone was also arrested in connection with the incident and received two community order orders. Both were also banned from entering the store.”