// The BRC calls on the UK government to act immediately on violence & abuse against shop workers
// The group wants the government to pass legislation that would make assaulting or abusing a retail worker a specific offence
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has called for the government to pass legislation to protect shopworkers across the UK.
Today is the second reading of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in the House of Lords and the BRC wants the government to indicate in the debate that it will honour the commitment it made in the House of Commons to address the issues of rising violence and abuse against shop workers and ensure that they have better protection under the law.
Despite a record £1.2 billion investment in safety measures such as body worn cameras, more security personnel and panic alarms there has still been a rise in incidents.
Last month, the new Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) Act 2021 came into force in Scotland after it was unanimously passed by the Scottish Parliament.
The BRC is urging the government to pass legislation that would make assaulting or abusing a retail worker a specific offence, resulting in tougher sentences for offenders.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson says: “We need legislation in England and Wales to protect our hard working retail colleagues. It makes no sense nor is it remotely fair that people who work in retail are better protected in Dundee than they are in Doncaster.”
“The current laws simply do not go far enough. Most offenders go unpunished, while victims and their families are left traumatised.”
“We cannot let another year to go by with rising crime statistics and a mounting pile of deplorable stories of violence and abuse in shops. The government needs to act, and deliver on its commitment to protect retail workers.”