During the three-hour debate, it was clear that there was cross-party support for serious measures to tackle the issue of violence and abuse against shopworkers. MPs made it clear that as well as being on the frontline for enforcing age restricted sales, shopworkers played an important and valuable role in the community.
David Hanson MP said:
“Usdaw’s annual survey found that 280 shopworkers were assaulted every day. The top triggers for violence and threat are shop thefts and enforcing age related sales; that’s shopworkers being assaulted for upholding the legislation on the frontline. These numbers come against the backdrop of a reduction in police numbers. Retail crime is increasing likely to not be attended by police officers. I don’t think this is acceptable. Freedom from Fear should not be a slogan but a reality for shopworkers.”
Usdaw General Secretary Paddy Lillis said:
“We thank David Hanson’s efforts in securing this important parliamentary debate. It was a good opportunity for MPs, from all parties, to understand the damaging effect violence against shopworkers has on not only individuals but the wider community.
“We welcome the fact that the Home Office has launched a call for evidence and will be taking part fully.
“From the evidence already published by ourselves, the BRC and the ACS, we know that this is a serious issue facing our members every day and Usdaw will continue to call for stiffer penalties for those who assault shopworkers; a simple stand-alone offence that is widely recognised and understood by the public, police, CPS, the judiciary and most importantly criminals.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 420,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion