Retail workers have seen violence and abuse triple during the pandemic, with the total cost of these crimes hitting £1.5bn this year.
In a survey by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), incidents of violence and abuse against shop workers were reported to have surged amid the pandemic.
There were some 1,301 incidents a day in 2020/2021, compared to 455 per day in 2019/20.
The increase also occurred at a time when the retail sector faced huge swathes of closures of physical stores amid Covid lockdowns.
Some £663m was lost to customer theft while £715m was dished out on crime prevention.
Out of the 1,301 daily incidents, some 125 were violent, the BRC said.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said the statistics make for “grim reading” given retail workers’ tireless efforts amid Covid lockdowns.
“Violence must never be a part of the job,” she added.
It comes as the government has introduced an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, creating a statutory aggravating factor to assaults committed against those “providing a public service or performing a public duty.”
“It is vital that the amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill helps to deter perpetrators, but this will require the police to take action and improve their response to incidents,” Dickinson added.