Usdaw launched a campaign
against the cuts, which will take 16,000 police officers and 1,800
PCSOs off the streets, in November last year, branding them a
threat to the safety of all shopworkers.
Usdaw's latest Freedom from
Fear survey revealed that in the previous 12 months, 6% of
shopworkers surveyed had been subjected to violent attack, 37% had
been threatened with harm and a massive 70% had suffered verbal
abuse. Usdaw fears cuts to frontline police will reduce response
times to serious incidents and could undermine the efforts of the
Union, retailers and police to deal effectively with lower level
incidents of retail crime.
Usdaw has produced a
leaflet and petition against the cuts, which can be signed
and Union Activists have been collecting signatures from both
shopworkers and customers.
In a message of support to
the police marchers, John Hannett, Usdaw General
"Usdaw members are genuinely
worried about the impact these criminal cuts to police budgets will
have on their working lives and in the communities where they live
and I'm sure the vast majority of people in this country feel
exactly the same."
"Shopworkers in particular
are often on the frontline preventing theft and under-age sales in
their workplaces and they should feel confident that in the event
of a violent incident, the police will be able to respond
immediately and without having to worry about stretched
"Usdaw fully supports and
applauds your outstanding protest today and we will continue to do
all we can to campaign against these deeply misguided cuts until
the Government finally sees sense and reverses them."
1. Background to the police cuts:
- 20% cuts in central Government funding to the police, with the
steepest cuts in the first two years.
- Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has confirmed
that over 16,000 police officers are to be cut so far.
- More than 16,000 staff and 1,800 PCSOs (Police Community
Support Officers) are also being cut.
- HMIC has proved that the frontline is being hit as a result of
- More than 2,000 of the most experienced officers are being
forcibly retired because the Government is cutting too far and too
- Figures compiled by the Labour Party from Freedom of
Information requests, which were released in March this year,
showed there has already been a 5,261 drop in the number of first
responder officer numbers. First responders deal with emergency
calls, attend traffic accidents and are first on the scene of crime
2. For details of the number of police officers being cut by
constabulary and for further information about Usdaw's campaign
3. Usdaw (the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is
the UK's fourth biggest and fastest growing trade union with over
415,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the
last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most
Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has
many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing,
chemicals and other trades.