More

    Labour bats to bring new law for assault on shopworkers

    Yvette Cooper MP, Shadow Home Secretary (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

    Labour will be tabling amendments for a new law and tougher sentences for attacks on shop workers, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said in Commons on Tuesday (28) during government’s Criminal Justice Bill’s second reading debate.

    Speaking about the impact of shoplifting on stores and the need for stronger measures to tackle assaults on shopworkers, Cooper stated that the whole point is to make it simpler for the police to take action and to send a clear message from Parliament to police that this is an offence that is taken immensely seriously.

    “If town centres do not feel safe, it is local businesses that are hit and can end up going under as a result, undermining local economies and putting off local residents who want to go shopping. Sometimes elderly residents, in particular, will simply not go into town anymore if they do not feel safe, and if they feel that laws are just not being enforced when they watch people leaving the shops with a big bag of goods stolen from the shelves and see nothing being done. It is just not good enough.

    “The government did finally agree, as a result of his campaigning, to an aggravated sentence for assaulting shop workers, but that is not enough. The whole point is to make it simpler for the police to take action and to send a clear message from Parliament to police that this is an offence we take immensely seriously.

    “That is why Labour will be tabling amendments that reflect the campaigns by USDAW, the Co-op, Tesco, the British Retail Consortium and small convenience stores for a new law and tougher sentences for attacks on our shop workers. Everyone should have the right to work in safety and to live free from fear,” Cooper said.

    Retail worker union Usdaw has welcomed this strong commitment from the Labour frontbench to amend government legislation and introduce a new law to protect shopworkers.

    Reacting to Cooper’s stance in Commons, Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary, stated that this government has had numerous opportunities to back this measure, which already exists in Scotland, but they have previously chosen to marshal Tory MPs to vote it down.

    “We hope that in the face of all the evidence provided by Usdaw and retail employers, they will this time end their opposition, do the right thing and give our members the protection they deserve. It was deeply disappointing that there were no measures announced in the King’s Speech to tackle the current epidemic of shoplifting that is blighting our town centres and stores. So it falls to Labour to plug the gap in the Government’s legislative programme and seek to deliver on the aims of Usdaw’s ‘Freedom From Fear’ campaign.”

    Usdaw’s latest survey results show that two-thirds of our members working in retail are suffering abuse from customers, with far too many experiencing threats and violence. Six in ten of these incidents were triggered by theft from shops, which is clearly the result of a 25 per cent increase in incidents of shoplifting, as shown by the latest ONS stats.

    Latest

    Dual armed robberies hit Leeds stores

    Two armed robberies in stores have rattled Leeds as...

    Brothers Drinks to continue as official cider of Glastonbury Festival

    Brothers Drinks Co. has signed a new contract to...

    Rude Health reveals new Organic Oat Barista

    Healthy and natural food and drink pioneers, Rude Health,...

    JTI rewards retailers with £250k prize pot

    Five win £50k each in the Mayfair Gold ‘Go...

    Don't miss

    Dual armed robberies hit Leeds stores

    Two armed robberies in stores have rattled Leeds as...

    Brothers Drinks to continue as official cider of Glastonbury Festival

    Brothers Drinks Co. has signed a new contract to...

    Rude Health reveals new Organic Oat Barista

    Healthy and natural food and drink pioneers, Rude Health,...

    JTI rewards retailers with £250k prize pot

    Five win £50k each in the Mayfair Gold ‘Go...

    Retailers in dismay over possible DRS delay until 2028

    Major retailers have expressed disappointment over the delay...

    Dual armed robberies hit Leeds stores

    Two armed robberies in stores have rattled Leeds as local police is now appealing to the public for any information that could lead to...

    Retailers in dismay over possible DRS delay until 2028

    Major retailers have expressed disappointment over the delay to the government’s flagship recycling scheme amid the reports that it is likely to get delayed yet...

    Retailers call on to align business rate to reflect April’s inflation

    Five leading trade bodies have written to the Chancellor ahead of the Spring Budget, urging him to align the business rates rise in April with the...