John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says:
"We welcome extending the existing legislation on proxy purchasing
of alcohol to cigarettes and tobacco products. The current
situation makes a mockery of banning under-18s from buying these
products when an adult can knowingly and openly make the purchase
on their behalf.
"However, the enforcement of laws on
age-restricted sales falls on shopworkers and all too often the
request to prove age can lead to violence, threats and abuse
against retail staff. It can be a minor who has been refused an
illegal purchase, or an adult who isn't able to prove their age, or
is angry they have been asked to provide evidence of their age
under policies like 'Think 25'.
"As Parliament passes legislation and expects
shopworkers to enforce it; they have a responsibility to provide
proper protection for retail staff. I hope that tomorrow the House
of Lords will do their duty by shopworkers on the frontline of
enforcing the law and support an amendment to a Government Bill
that will extend the existing protections for police officers to
all public facing workers."
On Wednesday 4 December 2013, the House of
Lords will debate an amendment to the Government's Anti-Social
Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill on the assault of workers
in public facing roles. This amendment will create a specific
additional offence of assaulting workers, extending existing
protections for police officers to all public facing workers and
providing a substantial deterrent to future assailants.
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and
Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and fastest
growing Trade Union with over 434,000 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.
Assault on workers in public facing
roles amendment (56N) tabled by Lord Foulkes Of Cumnock:
After Clause 103 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing
Bill insert the following new Clause—
"Assault on workers in public facing roles
(1) A person, being a member of
the public, who assaults a worker—
(a) in the course of that worker's
(b) by reason of that worker's
employment, commits an offence.
(2) No offence is committed—
(a) under subsection (1)(a) unless
the person who assaults knows, or ought to know, that the worker is
acting in the course of the worker's employment;
(b) under subsection (1)(b) unless
the assault is motivated, in whole or in part, by malice towards
the worker by reason of the worker's employment.
(3) In this section—
"worker" means a person whose employment
involves dealing with members of the public, to any extent, but
only if that employment involves—
(a) being physically present in
the same place and at the same time as one or more members of the
(b) interacting with those members
of the public for the purposes of the employment; or
(c) providing a service to either
particular members of the public or the public generally,
"employment" in this context means any paid or unpaid work whether
under contract, apprenticeship, or otherwise.
(4) Evidence from a single source
is sufficient evidence to establish for the purpose of subsection
(1) whether a person is a worker.
(5) A person guilty of an offence
under this Act is liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment
for a period not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding
level 5 on the standard scale."
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