Responding to the publication of the Home Affairs Select Committee’s report on retail violence, Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:
We welcome the publication of the Home Affairs Select Committee’s report on retail violence. The report rightly acknowledges the scale of the issue, and we are pleased to see that it calls on Government to urgently consult on a new criminal offence. The BRC has been long calling for a new statutory offence for abusing, threatening or assaulting a shopworker. An offence would impose tougher penalties on perpetrators and send a clear message that these incidents will not be tolerated.
“hop workers have suffered for far too long - according to our latest Crime Survey, violence and abuse is on the rise with over 450 incidents of violence and abuse every day, despite retailers spending record sums of £1.2 billion on crime prevention. Staff have been verbally and violently assaulted, as well as spat at and coughed on for challenging shoplifters, enforcing age-restricted sales and implementing coronavirus safety measures. Notwithstanding the evidence, the Government has repeatedly rejected numerous calls to protect shopworkers through the creation of a specific offence. We hope this report will prompt the Government to finally do what is necessary to protect retail staff from harm across the country and stop dragging its feet – this could be achieved through an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which is currently going through parliament.