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

Members can engage through these communities