Government to crack down on violence against shopworkers

The government has vowed to crack down on violence and abuse against shopworkers.

In a statement, yesterday the Home Office said it will work with National Retail Crime Steering Group (NRCSG) on a best practice guide to support staff in reporting these crimes, strengthening and making full use of existing laws, and improving data sharing between businesses and the police.

Also, the government said its crime and policing minister will write to PCCs and chief constables “underscoring the importance of working closely with local businesses to tackle this issue and emphasising that the theft of goods valued up to £200 from a shop should be prosecuted as a criminal offence”.

Home secretary, Priti Patel said: “As the daughter of shopkeepers, I know what a vital role they play within our communities and just how tirelessly they have worked during the coronavirus pandemic.

 “I will not tolerate violence and abuse against any shopworker and it’s right that those who commit these crimes must be caught and punished.”

Earlier this year, shopworkers union Usdaw urged customers to respect staff and employers to ensure safety in stores.

The news comes as Usdaw released statistics revealing one in six shop workers have suffered abuse on every shift, during the coronavirus pandemic.

The statistics revealed 62% of the 4,928 shopworkers surveyed have experienced verbal abuse, with almost a third being threatened by a customer. Usdaw also revealed 4% of employees were assaulted, which amounts to more than 3,500 every day when averaged across all retail workers.

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