Retail staff face daily abuse as BRC calls on gov’t to act

BRC crime
In the year to April 2020, there were 165,000 cases of violence and threats to shop workers
// More than 155,000 attacks on shop workers failed to result in a prosecution last year
// The BRC found that retail staff face threats, violence or abuse on average once every minute
// Almost a half of all incidents are never reported to police due to the lack of response

New research has found that over 155,000 attacks on shop workers failed to result in a prosecution last year, indicating that police are no longer responding to incidents.

Retail staff have said they do not bother reporting incidents to the police because they fear they will not receive an adequate response.

Retail workers face threats, violence or abuse on average once every minute according to the BRC.


READ MORE: Fresh call for law to protect shopworkers after crime rises 76%


However, almost a half of all incidents are never reported to police.

The BRC’s annual crime survey revealed that in the year to April 2020, there were 165,000 cases of violence and threats to shop workers.

But just 9900 of those cases resulted in a prosecution – the equivalent of six per cent.

The number of violent incidents rose by around seven per cent in 2019-20, with retail bosses fearful that criminals are becoming emboldened because of the lack of police respond.

A total of 60 per cent of shop workers thought the response from police when they reported an incident was poor or very poor.

“Will retail workers in England and Wales ever receive the protection they deserve?,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

“These are not mere statistics, those affected are our parents, our partners and our children, all who needlessly suffer, just for doing their job.”

The BRC data also revealed that the cost of crime to the sector has topped £1 billion a year for the first time.

It has been fuelled by a sharp rise in shoplifting, which now accounts for £935 million – up from £770 the previous year.

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