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Human and business costs of retail crime and violence set out in a new report - Usdaw calls on the Government to respond

Date: 27 May 2020 Retail trade union Usdaw has welcomed a new report Retail violence: abused and attacked at work by broadcast journalist Jamie Long, which sets out the cost to business and staff of violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers are unfortunately nothing new, as this report sets out, but we were shocked to see that incidents have doubled during the Coronavirus Emergency. At a time when we should all be working together to get through this crisis, it is a national disgrace that people working to keep food on the shelves for their local communities are being abused and assaulted.
“Urgent action is required. Our message is clear, abuse is not part of the job. So there needs to be action to help protect staff. We want the Government to legislate for stiffer penalties for those who assault workers; a simple stand-alone offence that is widely recognised and understood by the public, police, CPS, the judiciary and most importantly criminals. Retail staff have a crucial role in our communities and that role must be valued and respected.
“Nearly a year ago, alongside a broad range of retail employers, we responded to the Home Office ‘call for evidence’ and jointly called for action to tackle this problem. Disappointingly the Government is yet to respond and we remain deeply concerned by the lack of progress. They need go much further and much faster to
address this ongoing, growing and pressing issue.
“Shops are the cornerstone of our communities, but they can only operate with staff, who deserve the protection of the law. We continue to work with retailers to improve health and safety and we call on customers to stay calm and respect shopworkers.”
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.
Retail violence: abused and attached at work https://centreforjournalism-kent.shorthandstories.com/attacked-at-work/index.html#group-6-The-current-law-qzbS39CKzy
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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