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    Retailers call on MPs to bring actions to tackle violence against retail staff

    Photo: iStock

    Retailers’ body British Retail Consortium (BRC) is calling on the MPs to to support the vital amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill to show a clear commitment to making front line retail workers safer in their place of work.

    Alex Norris MP has tabled an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill, aiming to create an offence of assaulting a retail worker. The proposed amendment addresses the issue of violence and abuse against retail workers, seeking to provide legal protection for shop employees.

    Responding to Alex Norris MP tabling an amendment, Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the BRC, said, “The BRC welcomes the proposed amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill, which will create a standalone offence of “Assaulting a retail worker”. This amendment would show clear support for millions of dedicated retail workers up and down the country.

    “Retail crime is soaring, with over 850 incidents of violence and abuse against retail workers every day, double pre-pandemic levels. Shoplifting has also increased by an average of 27 per cent across ten of the UK’s largest cities in the last year.

    “The rise in incidents comes despite retailers investing hundreds of millions of pounds in safety measures such as body-worn cameras, more security personnel and CCTV. We cannot stand idle and let another year go by as retail crime continues to rise and retail workers continue to suffer. The current laws simply do not go far enough.

    “We call on MPs of all stripes to support this vital amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill. The Protection of Workers Act in Scotland already provides additional protection to retail workers, so why should our hardworking colleagues south of the border be offered less protection.

    “This amendment would show a clear commitment to making front line retail workers safer in their place of work. It would also increase the visibility of incidents so that police forces can allocate appropriate resources and ensure they provide an adequate response to incidents.”

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