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MP Calls for Better Protection for Shop Workers

The Weaver Vale MP is leading calls to better protect retail workers from violence and abuse. 

A shocking survey revealed 62% of those working in retail had been subject to physical and verbal attacks.

Mike Amesbury wants the government to hand out tougher sentences - and a review into how the police respond to the incidents.

The shadow employment minister arranged the Westminster Hall debate to highlight the worrying issue of violence against people working in retail and to call for more protection for those working in the industry.

Mike asked the Commons digital team to put out a survey online which brought back some horrifying stories of violence and abuse, he told the assembled MPs: “Some of the responses received were absolutely shocking: stories of employees being racially abused, watching colleagues being stabbed and punched, and even being held at gunpoint.

“It's obvious that some retailers can do more to support their staff, as many do not feel protected or defended by employers. It is also clear that staff want legally set and enforced standards of behaviour from the public.”

In a survey of retail workers, The USDAW Union found that:

  • 62% have been the victim of verbal or physical abuse.
  • 80% believe that abuse and violence have increased in recent years.
  • Almost a quarter describe threats of physical violence, with over half of these involving threats with weapons – most commonly knives, syringes or bottles.
  • 15% describe actual physical violence, varying from workers being pushed, spat upon, punched, kicked or attacked with weapons.

The union has also called for Government action, including:

•       Tougher sentences for those who attack shopworkers.

•       Changes to the out of court disposals system (e.g. fixed penalty notices) which it says is failing to have an impact on reoffending.

•       A full review into the response of police forces to incidents of violence in retail.

 

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