Retail crime: Government reiterates promise to consider amendment to policing bill

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retail crime
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The government has reiterated its promise to table an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to ensure better protection for retail workers.

Replying to debate in the House of Lords during the second reading of the bill, Home Office minister Baroness Williams Tuesday said she shares concerns raised by the peers about the unacceptable increase, during the pandemic, of assaults on retail workers.

“The government have agreed to actively consider whether legislative change is necessary and to bring forward any proposal if it is,” she added, in response to the demand for a new offence of assaulting a retail worker.

During the third reading of bill in the House of Commons, Home Office minister Victoria Atkins has said that the government is “actively considering” an amendment in the Lords on protection for shop workers.

The government has reiterated this in its response to the Home Affairs Select Committee report last week, adding that it will also take the new Scottish law on the topic into consideration.

“In response to an amendment tabled to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill on 5 July 2021, the Minister for Safeguarding, Victoria Atkins MP committed to consider an amendment in the Lords if appropriate. We will take into account the text of the Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Act 2021 in our consideration,” the government response stated.

Last month, the new Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) Act 2021 came into force in Scotland after it was unanimously passed by the Scottish Parliament.