// Tesco calls for legislation to protect shop workers against crime
// Usdaw received more than 100,000 signatories on the issue
// Almost 7000 incidents of abuse towards Tesco staff was reported in the past 3 months
Tesco has joined the call for legislation to protect shop workers against increased incidents of “abuse, threats and violence”.
On Monday, parliament talked through the issue after a petition submitted by Usdaw received more than 100,000 signatories.
Tesco UK chief executive Jason Tarry said it was important that ministers followed Scotland in passing new laws.
“Every day our colleagues, along with hundreds of other retail workers, face abuse, threats of violence and are even assaulted, simply for doing their jobs,” he said.
“This is not acceptable. Our stores should be safe places to work and shop.”
In the past three months, almost 7000 incidents of abuse towards Tesco colleagues had been reported, marking a rise of 27 per cent from the same period in 2020 and a 43 per cent increase from 2019.
“While the debate is important in raising awareness of the issue, there is an opportunity to change the law that will increase the protection of shopworkers as they carry out their daily tasks,” Tarry said.
“Crucially, in the weeks ahead, members of parliament will be debating an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which would mean Tesco store colleagues, along with all retail workers, would be protected from this violence and abuse.
“We are asking our colleagues to write to their MPs to show support for this amendment to help make it a specific offence.”
Tesco has invested in body-worn cameras for some of its shop floor and security staff in the last year, as well as installing safety screens in the most vulnerable convenience stores and 24-hour petrol station kiosks.
It is also running trials of headsets in large stores after they were rolled out in c-stores.