Debbie Robinson, our Chief Executive, has co-signed a letter with fellow retail bosses asking Prime Minister Boris Johnson to afford greater protection to shopworkers who face violence and aggression from customers.
Debbie Robinson joined forces with leading figures from over 65 retailers and industry bodies calling on him to take urgent action to tackle violence and abuse towards retail workers.
The letter calls for the Government “to treat the issue with the seriousness it deserves and improve protection for our employees by creating a new statutory offence of assaulting, threatening or abusing a retail worker.”
This legislation would toughen sentences for those who are violent or abusive towards shopworkers, deter future perpetrators and ensure shopworkers feel safer at work.
You can view the letter here
The decision to co-sign the letter comes at a time that we revealed that in the last 12 months, incidents of verbal abuse jumped by 167%, anti-social behaviour by 39%, assaults by 35% and threats by 16% compared to 2019.
We also revealed that 312 crimes related directly to Covid-19 have been recorded in stores since the start of the pandemic.
Recently, to help combat this problem, we rolled out a range of different measures including security assistance buttons and using tracking devices in more products to deter would-be thieves.
The letter has also been sent to Number 10 at the same time as the British Retail Consortium published its annual Crime Survey.
This showed that shopworkers face, on average, 424 violent or abusive incidents every day.
Retailers have invested over £1.2 billion in total on crime prevention in the past 12 months, although the total cost of these types of crime for retailers is £2.2 billion.
You can view the full report here