The latest BRC Crime Survey found over 450 incidents of abuse and violence towards shop staff occur every day – and subsequently our soundings have shown that during the coronavirus pandemic these increased dramatically. These are not just incidents of direct violence but include abuse, stalking, spitting and coughing - and threats to do so. 

BRC members have been involved with us in a number of initiatives including ‘de-escalation’ video to help shop staff when faced by an aggressive customer (see other article and download) – often when requesting age verification for age restricted products; and a  project with the Home Office to look at a variety of issues that arose from the Government’s response to the Call for Evidence. These cover communications; data barriers to sharing information; better reporting of attacks; and supporting victims. There is now a dedicated section on the website with the results of this project to date.

Together, we are also campaigning with MPs for a specific offence of violence or abuse against a shopworker (just as in Scotland) including MP store visits and signing a pledge – alongside pressing for more explicit sentencing guidelines for offences against public facing workers. 

Cyber crime has received a high profile recently and it includes attacks on retail and consumers. So supported by the NCSC we are also engaged in helping retailers to become more cyber-secure by design with a new cyber security toolkit geared to those who may not be experts but who need to know. This is on the website.

Our resources for members and in some cases retailers in general are on the website. To participate in this work and support our campaigns, join the BRC Operations or IT Community. To get involved contact


In response to the growth in violence and abuse against shopworkers, the BRC has worked in co-operation with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust to create an animation that can be used by any retailer to train their staff on how to deal with such threats.

A representative group of members worked on the messages and text alongside the BRC and Suzy Lamplugh Trust.

The material may be downloaded for use by anyone. There is also a leaflet that can be used to accompany the text, also developed for us by Suzy Lamplugh Trust.


1.   YouTube

2.   Embed code to your site

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>


BRC Learning has developed a standalone training module to support you and your teams to diffuse aggressive and challenging behaviour effectively in stores. During the training you will:

  • Understand the challenges your staff may face and be prepared
  • Develop mental toughness and positive attitude
  • Diffuse difficult situations with tone of voice, body language and the right words
  • Ensure the staff always puts their safety above everything else
  • Know when to escalate the situation to a member of management
  • Test your knowledge and skills during the learning process

The module can be adapted to your organisation and designed to sit on your LXP or LMP. Contacts us for more details.