Home Office crime survey supports Usdaw findings

The Home Office’s Crime against businesses report revealed attacks against shopworkers significantly increased during the pandemic, supporting survey results from Usdaw and the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).

“It is shocking that shopworkers suffered increased abuse from customers, with far too many experiencing threats and violence,” Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis said.

“The scale of the problem has been clearly set out in Usdaw’s annual survey, this Home Office report and the ACS annual crime report.”

READ MORE: ACS urges retailers to complete crime survey

The trade union’s annual crime survey of 3,500 members of retail staff revealed that 61% of workers were not confident that reporting abuse would make a difference.

As a result, Usdaw welcomed the government’s decision to add Amendment 84 to the Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill which specifically criminalised abuse against shop workers after years of resistance.

Usdaw confirmed they were “closely monitoring the effectiveness” of the initiative and were “promoting the new legal protections” and “encouraging members to report incidents”.

Lillis added: “Faced with such appallingly high levels of violence and abuse and so many shopworkers lacking confidence in the system providing the protection they need, the Government must ensure that retail employers, police and the courts work together to make stores safe.”

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