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ACS and Usdaw call on the Government to tackle violence against shopworkers in the face of shocking statistics

Date: 09 March 2020 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw is deeply concerned about shocking statistics released today by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS). The annual crime survey ‘Evidence for Action’ shows that over 50,000 convenience store workers were assaulted last year, with 25% of incidents resulting in injury.
Paddy Lillis - Usdaw General Secretary says: “Usdaw’s research has shown that over 400* shopworkers across all sectors of retail are assaulted every day. Today’s ACS report confirms that the problem is a particular issue for the convenience sector. When retail employers and the shopworkers’ trade union jointly call for action to stem this growing epidemic of violence against shop staff, it’s time for Ministers to sit up and take notice.
 
“All too often criminals feel they can get away with assaulting shop staff and are not punished. That’s why we need Government action to help protect staff through the creation of a simple stand-alone offence that is widely recognised and understood by the public, police, the judiciary and most importantly criminals.
 
“Our message is clear, abuse is not a part of the job. Retail staff have a crucial role in our communities and that role must be valued and respected, they deserve the protection of the law.”
 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 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.
 
* Usdaw’s 2019 annual survey of 6,457 UK shopworkers found that 5.05% had been assaulted over the last 12 months. When extrapolated over circa 3,000,000 retail workers, this amounts to over 400 assaults per day. Usdaw believes this is an underestimation because the survey analysis assumes each respondent was only assaulted once last year and it was conducted in mainly larger trade union organised stores, which tend to be safer than smaller non-unionised workplaces.

ACS 2020 Crime Report: http://bit.ly/ACSCrimeReport2020
 
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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