A total 100 of the UK’s major retailers, including Aldi, Costa and Primark, have called upon the Prime Minister to help tackle escalating abuse and violence against retail workers.
In a letter to Boris Johnson, the retailers asked him to support an amendment to the Police, Crime and Sentencing and Courts Bill that they believe would help tackle violent against retail workers.
The bill is scheduled for a third reading in Parliament on Monday.
A recent survey by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealed a seven per cent year-on-year increase of incidents of violence and abuse against retail workers.
One business reported a 76 per cent increase in abuse and a 10 per cent increase in violent attacks during the pandemic, of which over half involved a weapon, while many staff have been coughed or spat on.
A recent Home Affairs Select Committee report concluded that a new criminal offence is needed to protect retail workers from a “shocking upsurge in violence and abuse”.
Retailers have invested £1.2bn on crime prevention in the last year.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Retail workers are facing violence and abuse very day just for doing their jobs – keeping customers safe during the pandemic, checking ID, and confronting shoplifters.
“Behind each of these statistics is a person, a family, colleagues and communities that have to cope with this trauma. No-one should go to work fearing for their safety, yet many retail workers have come to see it as part of the job – this can’t go on.”