Matt Vickers, MP for Stockton South and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Retail calls for tougher sentencing for those who assault or abuse retail staff in light of the latest BRC survey.
The BRC (British Retail Consortium) has published its 2021 Retail Crime Survey which highlights violence and abuse faced by retail staff.
The BRC survey shows a 7% rise in incidents of violence and abuse against shopworkers from 2018/19, now at 455 incidents each day in 2019/20. This has resulted in a £2.5 billion cost of crime to retailers, including £935m in customer theft.
Mr Vickers said:
“As a former retail worker myself, it is shocking to hear that violent and abusive incidents towards retail staff is still on the rise.
“These people have done a sterling job over the pandemic and deserve to be able to go to work without the fear of being abused or assaulted.
“Whilst we have been in the safety of our own homes, retail workers have been serving on the frontlines and risking their own health to ensure that we have everything we need.
“It is clear that more needs to be done to protect retail workers.
“I would encourage the Government to look at introducing tougher sentences for those who assault and abuse retail staff to act as a deterrent against these heinous crimes in future and police must take reports seriously and investigate to the fullest extent.
“Employers also play an important part in the protection of their workers in the first instance and they must do more to reassure their staff and minimise these disgusting encounters as much as possible.”