Stores receive top honour for safer retailing

Scotmid Co-operative’s 190 food stores have been recognised with a Safer Retailing Award with Merit from the Scottish Business Crime Centre (SBCC).

Scotmid was formally presented with the prestigious accolade at its annual conference on 24 April 2013 by Andrew Laing from the Scottish Business Crime Centre and Wayne Mawson, Assistant Chief Constable of Police Scotland. The Safer Retailing Award recognises Scotmid’s work in preventing underage and proxy sales of restricted items, such as alcohol and cigarettes, and supporting community safety.

The Society has introduced a range of measures across its food stores, including UV lights to detect counterfeit ID cards and bank notes. Scotmid Co-operative also operates a strict ‘Think 25’ policy across all stores. This means that anyone who does not look over 25 years old will be asked for identification when buying age-restricted products.

Local police forces, together with representatives from the SBCC and Licensing Standards Officers, have visited Scotmid stores across the country to find out about the work that has been undertaken.

Chief Inspector Angela McLaren, who visited the Dunfermline Scotmid store said: “This is an excellent partnership initiative to encourage responsible retail, which leads to safer communities. It is a real pleasure to see retailers taking a truly responsible approach, not just for the benefits of themselves, but also for the benefit of the communities that live around them.”

Inspector Donald Leitch, who visited the Merkland Scotmid store said: “The Safer Retailer award is an excellent example of how businesses can work in partnership with other organisations to ensure that the areas in which they operate are safer as a result of the practices and processes that are in place around the sale of age restricted goods. All too often the community has to pick up the pieces of those who engage in anti-social and criminal behavior through the irresponsible sale of age restricted goods like alcohol, spray paints and knives.”

Inspector Richard Taylor, who visited the Laurencekirk store said: “I am thoroughly impressed with the responsibility that Scotmid take for contributing to a safer community here in Laurencekirk. This award is clear recognition for their professional approach to the sale of age restricted goods locally but reflects very positively on their company as a whole. The Challenge 25 policy shows their regard for the well being and safety of young persons in the community and can be a key factor in significantly reducing the opportunities for alcohol abuse which very often lead to anti-social behaviour and poor decision making by young people. I understand that Scotmid invest considerably in training their staff and regularly refresh their approach to ensure that they maintain their high standards. I would like to congratulate them on their award and wish them every continued success in the future. Responsible retailing of alcohol undoubtedly assists Police Scotland in keeping people safe in our communities.”

Ian Lovie, head of licensing and age related sales for Scotmid said: “Scotmid Co-operative is committed to being a responsible retailer in the communities that we serve and protecting our employees, customers and neighbourhoods. We are delighted that all of our food stores have received the Safer Retailing Award with Merit and we congratulate the staff whose efforts have made this possible.”

The SBCC Safer Retailing Award scheme aims to reduce anti-social behaviour and violence in the community by preventing underage and proxy sales of age-restricted items. The initiative also promotes security, noise reduction and disability issues, and encourages a partnership approach by retailers, the police, trading standards officers and the SBCC.

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