Government should take steps to categorise assaults on public service workers like store workers distinctly in the police recorded crime and outcomes statistics, organisations like Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Post Office have demanded.
In an open letter from The Institute of Customer Service CEO Jo Causon to the minister for police, business leaders are raised a pressing need to record data relating to the abuse of public service workers who are providing vital services to society.
“Currently, only assaults on Police and Emergency Workers have a separate classification within Home Office recorded crime statistics. However, we also note that retail thefts are recorded as well. Given the challenging climate the nation’s frontline workers currently face, there is a pressing need to record data relating to the abuse of other public service workers.
“These workers are providing vital services to society, but since the introduction of the Sentencing Act which, in part, makes assaults on public service workers an aggravated offence, abuse of workers is sadly continuing. Retail staff, hospitality workers, call centre agents, infrastructure installers, delivery drivers, banking staff, and many others who interact with the public on a daily basis need to know the government is continuing to ensure it is driving down abuse of workers in their workplaces.
“While it’s encouraging that Philp’s response noted an ongoing review of the rules governing police recorded crime in England and Wales, there is an urgent need to expedite this aspect of the review. Our data, corroborated by various other studies, highlights that over one third of public-facing workers have faced some form of hostility in the past six months. This impacts their productivity, leads to an increased number of sick days, resignations, and a consequent decline in the quality of public services and economic output of businesses big and small.
With the right data, the police, businesses, and policymakers can better allocate resources, develop and evolve informed policies, and protect these essential workers, stated the letter.
“We, along with a diverse coalition of business leaders and cross-party Parliamentarians, urge the Government to prioritise collecting and reporting on the number of incidents separately, along with their consequent prosecution outcomes.
This will serve as a deterrent against assaulting public service workers by empowering victims to report incidents, confident that incidents they are involved in are officially recorded and acted upon, urged the businesses.