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Thousands of shopworkers have been assaulted, abused and threatened while the Government dithered and delayed says Usdaw

Date: 10 April 2024 Retail trade union Usdaw has said they will study the detail of Government proposals on retail crime and shopworker assault. The union has long campaigned for action on a growing epidemic of retail crime, which has always been opposed by the Conservatives and consistently supported by Labour. The Government has finally decided to act in an announcement today.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “The scale of assaults, abuse and threats towards shopworkers and extent of the retail crime epidemic has been a disgrace for many years. This has been made worse by police cuts and a failure to legislate to protect retail staff. Usdaw has long called for action that includes a standalone offence for assaulting a shopworker and that has been vehemently opposed by this Government and their Conservative MPs on many occasions.
“This long overdue U-turn is the culmination of many years of sustained campaigning by Usdaw and others. Our members have had to wait too long for their voices to be heard and common sense to prevail. We will have to see the detail of what they are proposing and it must be at least what we won in Scotland three years ago. It also cannot fall short of Labour’s commitments to 13,000 more uniformed officers, patrols on high streets, banning repeat offenders and ending the perverse £200 threshold for prosecuting shoplifters.
“The dither and delay of this Government, on this issue, over many years, has led to thousands of shopworkers needlessly suffering physical and mental injury. I hope that whatever the Government is proposing will be substantial and effective in giving shopworkers, key workers in every community, the respect that they have long deserved and regrettably too often do not receive.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is one of the fastest growing unions in the TUC and the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 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 www.usdaw.org.uk
Usdaw annual survey of violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers: www.usdaw.org.uk/FFFReport2023
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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