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ACS Crime Report 2022 confirms Usdaw's findings that 9 in 10 shopworkers suffered verbal abuse last year

Date: 08 March 2022 Leading retail trade body the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has today published their annual crime report, which confirms Usdaw’s findings of the scale of violence, threats and abuse faced by shopworkers.
The ACS report finds that 89% of shopworkers are suffering verbal abuse, which matches the high levels found by Usdaw’s own annual survey of retail staff. ACS also found that on average convenience store owners spend over £5,000 on crime prevention, which effectively results in a 9p ‘crime tax’ on every transaction made in these local small shops.
 
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Violence, threats and abuse have long been a major issue for shopworkers, which is why Usdaw launched our Freedom from Fear campaign. For years we have worked closely with the Association of Convenience Stores and others across the retail sector to provide evidence, jointly campaign and lobby Government for action to stem this growing problem.
 
“It is shocking that nine in ten shopworkers are suffering abuse from customers, with far too many experiencing threats and violence. The scale of the problem is clearly set out in the ACS annual crime report and evidently shows that there is still much to do to make workplaces safer. Worryingly our own surveying of Usdaw members shows that around half are not confident that reporting these issues will make any difference.
 
“The new protection of workers law in Scotland and the UK Government’s move to toughen sentencing for those who assault workers in England and Wales are welcome, after years of resistance. We are closely monitoring the effectiveness of these initiatives and, along with retailers and the police, promoting these new legal protections. Importantly we are encouraging members to report incidents. Our message is clear, report it to sort it.”
 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
 
Usdaw annual survey of nearly 3,500 retail staff shows that in the last twelve months: 90% have experienced verbal abuse; 64% were threatened by a customer; 12% were assaulted, and 61% said they were not confident that reporting abuse, threats and violence will make a difference. Full results: www.usdaw.org.uk/FFFsurvey2021
 
ACS Crime Report 2022: https://www.acs.org.uk/sites/default/files/acs_crime_report_2022_0.pdf
 
Usdaw’s Freedom from Fear Campaign seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse against workers by engaging the public, shopworkers and the Government. www.usdaw.org.uk/Campaigns/Freedom-From-Fear
 
Amendment 84 to the Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill – Lords Hansard 15 December 2021: https://hansard.parliament.uk/lords/2021-12-15/debates/28547EAD-5F85-4D84-AC8E-1A19CC359B20/PoliceCrimeSentencingAndCourtsBill#contribution-8416AF16-070D-409D-B0EC-0C373BC7A3F3
 
Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Act 2021: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2021/6
 
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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