Source: Co-op

The charter aims to encourage councils, businesses, venues and other organisations to prioritise women’s safety

Co-op has become the first retailer to sign up to the Mayor of London’s Women’s Night Safety Charter.

With around 190 convenience stores serving communities up until 11pm across London and Greater London, the retailer has put its name to the ‘first of its kind’ charter, which is a pan-London initiative developed to encourage councils, businesses, venues and other organisations to prioritise women’s safety, and their perception of safety after dark.

It involves seven pledges such as training staff to ensure that all women who report are believed, and designing public spaces and work places to make them safer for women at night.

The Co-op’s announcement is timed alongside the Women’s Night Safety Charter Summit, which takes place at London Excel today.

“Co-op operates at the heart of local life and nothing is more important to us than the safety of our colleagues, customers and communities,” said Co-op head of risk and compliance Jenny Alleyne.

“We follow the principles of the Charter, which mean those seeking a safe haven in the Co-op will be welcomed, encouraged to report their concerns and, above all, believed – as a convenience retailer, our doors are open late into the night, and we want people to know that Co-op is always a welcome light for women and girls who feel unsafe after dark.”

London’s night czar Amy Lamé said: “All women and girls should feel safe working, travelling or going out at night in our city, and we all have a part to play to ensure that is the case.

“I am delighted that Co-op has become the first supermarket to join the Women’s Night Safety Charter, with their chain of stores joining more than 1,200 organisations, including venues, gyms, charities, councils and businesses across London, who have pledged to improve women’s safety.”