THE CO-OP must do more to ensure the safety of their staff following the fifth robbery in the past few weeks at a local store, says an MP.

Philip Davies demanded action following the second “despicable” attack by axe-wielding raiders in less than a month on the Denholme mini-market.

Three men carrying axes threatened customers at 4.50pm on Easter Monday before taking cash and cigarettes from the till area and driving off along Main Road towards Queensbury.

Co-ops in Wilsden, Queensbury and Wibsey were targeted in previous raids between February and April.

Police this week revealed three males aged 17, 17 and 19 had been arrested and released on bail in connection with the earlier incidents.

Detective Inspector Mark Taylor, of Bradford District CID, said: “We would like to speak to anyone who saw suspicious activity around the store at around the time of the offence on Monday, as well as anyone who may have details of the vehicle used.

“This must have been a frightening experience for all those in the shop at the time.”

Shipley MP Philip Davies said: “These attacks are despicable and must be frightening beyond belief for the staff. I hope the police can apprehend those responsible as a matter of urgency and bring them to justice.

“Clearly the Co-op need to do more to ensure the safety of their staff and this is something I have already raised with them.”

Just last Thursday Mr Davies received a response from Co-op bosses to say the Wilsden and Denholme staff teams were coping well and the affected staff had returned to work.

A Co-op public affairs officer told him that following such incidents the company provided guards, and encouraged staff to contact in-house counsellors to receive emotional support.

She added: “We review store processes to make sure we are securing the safety of our colleagues. We review the store for property vulnerabilities such as external lighting or equipment like CCTV.”

“The local communities have been invaluable in expressing their support for our colleagues, which has been welcomed by our colleagues at a difficult time.”

A Co-op spokesman this week said CCTV footage was being shared with police.

He added: “We work closely with police and crime prevention bodies, and implement a range of measures designed to deter and disrupt criminal behaviour.”

District councillor Simon Cooke, whose Bingley Rural ward includes Denholme, said he remained very concerned about the spate of attacks.

Cooke said: “The public want to feel safe, and if they don’t feel safe going to their local Co-op in the local village then what’s happening?

“I want police to get more presence out in the villages and show they care about our concerns. The Co-op does their bit by putting security in, but people are quite genuinely worried.”

Anyone with information about the Denholme robbery should contact Bradford District CID on 101, quoting crime reference 13190206121; visit; or report anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.