The latest BRC Crime Survey found over 400 incidents of abuse and violence towards shop staff occur every day – and during the coronavirus pandemic these have increased dramatically. These are not just incidents of direct violence but include racial abuse, stalking, spitting and coughing - and threats to do so. We will be undertaking a new survey to get up to date statistics for 2020 but all the evidence to date is that if anything they will be worse. 

BRC members are involved with us in a number of initiatives in the pipeline including ‘de-escalation’ training to help shop staff when faced by an aggressive customer – often when requesting age verification for age restricted products; and a big project with the Home Office to look at a variety of issues that arose from the Government’s response to the Call for Evidence earlier in the year. These cover communications; data barriers to sharing information; better reporting of attacks; and supporting victims. 

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

Cyber crime is a relatively new facet of 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. 

View here all our resources for members and in some cases retailers in general. And to participate in this work and support our campaigns, join the BRC Operations 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.

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.