Security has been stepped up at a Farnworth store due to customers threatening staff.

Co-op, in Highfield Road has closed early twice in the past week due to two similar but seemingly unrelated incidents.

The incidents took place on Saturday evening and Tuesday afternoon respectively.

It’s believed that in both instances, a customer came into the store and started abusing and threatening staff. As a precaution, the store was shut early and the police were informed.

Co-op have confirmed that none of their staff were hurt in either of the incidents but that they are stepping up security.

A spokesman for Co-op said: “Police were called out yesterday by the store after a member of the public displayed anti-social and threatening behaviour.

“No one was hurt.

“Safety and security is a number one priority, and the store has further stepped up security.

“Co-op works closely with Police and crime prevention bodies and uses a range of measures, both covert and obvious, which are designed to deter and disrupt criminal behaviour, and increase the likelihood of capture and conviction.”

The Highfield Road shop has had it’s fair share of problems with crime in the last few years.

In August 2017, two men attempted to raid the store, one armed with a sawn-off shotgun and earlier this year, in March, the cash machine was smashed having only recently been reinstalled after another incident.

Councillor Susan Haworth, of the Harper Green ward said: "There's a general concern by the residents because one of the last stories about the co-op is when criminals smashed the cash point.

"However people who live there would say it's not just a problem in their area.

"It can be inconvenient for some people who want to use the co-op if it's closed early but I think if it was something to do with protection of the staff, I can't think of anybody who lives in that area that would be against doing the right thing for the staff of the shop.

"When it comes to crime, it's an area where there's a worry about reporting things to the police but there is a need to get people aware of Crimestoppers because that's anonymous."

Greater Manchester Police confirmed the concerns are shared by the store and have said they are working with the shop to prevent further incidents happening.

A spokesman said: “Following an incident over the weekend the store requested police attendance yesterday evening and the store made the decision to close earlier.

“The police are working with the store who are concerned about youths gathering outside the location.”