Shopworkers need same level of crime protection as emergency workers, BRC says

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Shopworkers’ Protection Pledge crime BRC Tom Ironside
The BRC's latest crime survey revealed that over 400 incidents of violence and abuse against retail staff each day
// The government’s latest white paper “A Smarter Approach to Sentencing” criticised by BRC
// The white paper aims to strengthen the sentencing system in the UK
// The BRC said it contains little help to protect shop workers from violence and abuse

The government has been criticised for “failing” to protect retail workers from violence and abuse, despite responding to an Usdaw petition.

The BRC said the government’s latest white paper called “A Smarter Approach to Sentencing” – aimed at strengthening the sentencing system in the UK – is not enough to help the “tens of thousands of retail workers who are subject to violence or abuse”.

The trade association’s latest crime survey revealed that over 400 incidents of violence and abuse against retail staff each day.


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Common triggers for violence and abuse include implementing social distancing and other Covid-19 safety measures.

The BRC also launched a “Shopworkers’ Protection Pledge” earlier this month to further support retail workers.

“Just one day after rejecting calls to toughen sentences for those who attack shopworkers, the government has issued a white paper which aims to reform sentencing law to ‘keep people safe,” BRC business and regulation director Tom Ironside said.

“While we fully support all that the government has said about the violence and abuse of emergency workers and the legislation implemented to protect them, similar protection is needed for retail workers; especially when they are assaulted for enforcing age-restricted sales, or implementing vital coronavirus safety measures.

“While the improvements to community sentences could help, this will only be effective if the police and the courts use them, especially in cases of violence against retail workers.”

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