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11th October 2017 - 'Protect Shopworkers from violence and threats' says Islwyn MP

Protect Shopworkers from violence and threats says Islwyn MPAs we begin the run up to Christmas, it is more important than ever that shopworkers are treated with respect. That is why Islwyn MP, Chris Evans, has thrown his weight behind Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Campaign. The campaign seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse directed at retail staff.

Speaking at a campaign event in the House of Commons, Mr Evans said: ‘Too often retail employees are confronted with violence, threats and abuse. Nobody should have to deal with such behaviour at work. We must stand together and ask people to respect shopworkers – and call on the Government to change the law to reflect this.

The lack of prosecution or punishment for those who threaten or act violently toward shopworkers is a disgrace. I will continue to campaign with Usdaw for a change in the law – assaulting workers who are serving the public is totally unacceptable.’

Data collected by the British Retail Consortium shows a 40% increase in offences involving abuse or violence against shopworkers. Furthermore, Usdaw’s 2016 survey of 2,805 shopworkers showed that 50% had been verbally abused, 29% were threatened, and 8% had been assaulted. Much of the abuse occurs when shopworkers have to enforce laws regarding sales of products such as knives, tobacco or alcohol, or detaining shoplifters until the police arrive.

The launch of the ‘Freedom From Fear Campaign’ coincides with this year’s Respect for Shopworkers Week, which takes place 13th– 19th November. As well as exploring ways to prevent abuse against shopworkers, the campaign will encourage shopworkers to not accept such abuse as part of their job, and report incidents to management.

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