Sainsbury’s and Aldi urge for assaults on shop workers to be recorded in official stats

The CEOs of Sainsbury’s, Aldi and John Lewis are among the retail leaders urging for the government to record assaults on public service workers in official statistics.

An open letter from The Institute of Customer Service CEO Jo Causon to the minister for police has been signed by more than 55 business leaders and parliamentarians.

Other signatories include the CEOs of Fortnum & Mason, Wickes and the Post Office.

It comes as resent research by the independent membership body found that more than a third of shop staff have experienced hostility in the last six months.

New research from The Retail Trust also found that 47% of shop workers have admitted to feeling unsafe at work while two in five workers from over 200 retailers including Tesco, Co-op and John Lewis are shouted at, spat on, threatened or hit every week.

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The letter is calling on the policing minister to ensure assaults on public service workers are recorded separately in police statistics.

It also looks to raise awareness of the current crime epidemic and ensure that instances are being acted on.

It reads: “Currently, only assaults on police and emergency workers have a separate classification within Home Office recorded crime statistics. However, we also note that retail thefts are recorded as well.

“Given the challenging climate the nation’s frontline workers currently face, there is a pressing need to record data relating to the abuse of other public service workers.”

The letter said that the increased levels of hostility that public-facing workers face “impacts their productivity, leads to an increased number of sick days, resignations, and a consequent decline in the quality of public services and economic output of businesses big and small”.

It adds that recording this in official statistics “will serve as a deterrent against assaulting public service workers by empowering victims to report incidents, confident that incidents they are involved in are officially recorded and acted upon”.



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