Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Campaign works to prevent violence, threats and abuse against workers. We do this by engaging the public, shopworkers and the Government.
Interim results of Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Survey show that over the past year nearly two-thirds of shopworkers were verbally abused, 40% were threatened and around 250 were assaulted every day. These are significant increases on last year’s survey with abuse and assaults up by 25% and threats increased by 38%. The survey continues and full results will be released in the New Year.
We raise awareness with the public that violence, threats and abuse against workers is unacceptable behaviour. We give workers the confidence to speak out and report abuse, not accept it as part of the job.
We also work with employers to achieve safety and security improvements in stores, and raise the issues of neighbourhood policing, retail crime and underage sales. We lobby the Government to enact a new law, creating a specific offence relating to assault on people who work in a face-to-face public role. We have come close to achieving this in the past but have been blocked by the Conservatives and the SNP.
Respect for Shopworkers Week is an important part of the Freedom From Fear campaign. Every year, Usdaw reps take the campaign to the public by running stalls in their workplace, aiming to spread the message that abuse is not part of the job. Our Respect Week page contains more information, or you can order your materials to take part in the campaign.