Co-op customer smashes wine bottles after being told to follow one-way system

Watch: This is the shocking moment a Co-op customer smashes wine bottles after being told to follow one-way system

This is the shocking moment a Co-op customer smashes wine bottles and aisles after being told to observe social distancing measures in a store.

Footage shows the woman flying into a rampage after staff at the shop in Lingfield, Surrey, asked her to follow the one-way system intended to stop customers coming into close contact with one another.

A store worker said the woman then rushed to the alcohol aisle and tore several bottles off the shelves after screaming at several Co-op workers.

Describing the incident, the staff member told Metro: “She got very angry and started shouting at me and my colleague who were serving customers from behind the protective till screen.

She can be heard verbally abusing staff. (Co-op)
The woman can be heard verbally abusing staff. (Co-op)

“She stormed up to the till screen and just flipped out, punching and kicking it before rushing over to the alcohol aisle where she started grabbing bottles of wine, sending them smashing them to the ground.”

The staff member said it was not the first time she had experienced violence while working in the shop.

“Just last year I was actually punched in the face by a female customer because I had refused to serve her alcohol as she was clearly intoxicated,” she added, “I’m still recovering from the mental strain that this has caused me.

It comes as CEOs from 23 major British retailers and the sector’s leading industry bodies joined forces in writing to the prime minister to ask him to provide effective legal protection for shop workers in the face of increasing levels of abuse and violence.

This week, Alex Norris MP is due to get a second reading of his private members bill entitled “Assaults on Retail Workers”.

Read more: Coronavirus: UK supermarkets hire 136,000 staff during pandemic

The bill, which the Co-op has been supporting for the last two years, calls upon the government to create a new offence which would carry higher penalties for those that abuse or attack shop workers.

In the letter, the conglomerate of retail bosses, who collectively employ over 1.25 million shop workers, state: “In partnership with our colleagues on the front-line, with USDAW and with a cross-party coalition of MPs, we support Alex Norris’ Private Members Bill to provide that greater protection for our colleagues.

“This united response from business leaders, trade unions and frontline workers should demonstrate the need for these additional protections.

“We believe there is a clear and broad-based consensus behind this Bill, and we ask that the Government acts now to support this important Bill and find time for it to pass through Parliament.”

Among the other signatories are the bosses of Aldi, Homebase, Lidl and Morrisons.

Coronavirus: what happened today
Click here to sign up to the latest news and information with our daily Catch-up newsletter