Cigarette packets and cash machines fitted with tracking devices after raids at Co-op stores in South Yorkshire

Cash machines and packets of cigarettes have been fitted with tracking devices in Co-op stores following a series of raids in South Yorkshire.

Central England Co-op, which operates stores in South Yorkshire and neighbouring counties, has revealed a range of new security measures in place in its shops as the firm fights back against criminals.

Crooks stole a cash machine from the Co-op petrol station and shop on Worksop Road, Aston, in May

Crooks stole a cash machine from the Co-op petrol station and shop on Worksop Road, Aston, in May

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The retailer has completed a review of security measures at its stores and installed tracking devices to its cash machines and cigarettes as a deterrent to crooks.

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In addition to installing tracking devices, the Co-op also operates a centrally monitored CCTV system which allows staff to call for assistance at the touch of a button.

Some closing times have changed and some shops now have security guards.

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External motion detectors have also been installed outside stores and will be activated outside of trading hours to trigger CCTV cameras that operatives will monitor.

The Co-op has also worked with ATM provider Cardtronics to implement additional security measures to prevent the cash machines from opening if gas or explosives are used.

There have been a series of raids at Co-op stores across South Yorkshire over recent months, including one in Aston, Sheffield, in May, where thieves drove a JCB into the wall of a the Co-op petrol station and shop on Worksop Road and stole a cash machine.

Craig Goldie, loss prevention advisor at Central England Co-op, said: “We are aware that incidents such as robberies and ATM thefts are frightening for store colleagues, who are our first priority.

“We are doing everything we can to prevent incidents like this from happening, but if something does happen we offer them support and counselling both from within our business and specialists. 

“Now we have put in place new and improved tools to work with the police and partners to help bring the perpetrators to justice.

“We want our message to be clear – it is not worth the risk to target Central England Co-operative food stores and we are doing everything in our power to combat crime in our communities and keep people safe when they shop.”