Tesco worker’s petition calling for new offence to protect shop staff reaches 10,000 signatures
A petition lodged by a Tesco worker calling on the Government to make violence or abuse against retail workers a standalone criminal offence has reached 10,000 signatures.
Started by Jenny Whyte, who works in Tesco convenience stores in the North of England, the petition was backed by Tesco UK chief executive Jason Tarry and lodged with Parliament last week. It surpassed 10,000 signatures on Saturday morning, which means the Government must respond to it.
Tesco has said violent incidents against its store workers are up by a third on this time last year and figures from the British Retail Consortium show 850 incidents each day of violence and abuse towards UK shop staff.
Tarry said: “We want our colleagues to be safe at work. Creating a standalone offence not only sends a strong message to the small but violent group of people who abuse and attack shopworkers, but also makes it clear to shopworkers that as a nation we take protecting them seriously.”
Tesco has recently brought in further measures to protect its staff, including body cameras that colleagues can choose to wear, and new toughened glass safety screens being fitted in more than 300 Tesco Express convenience stores and petrol station kiosks.
Whyte added: “Nobody should come to work afraid that they could be assaulted or abused for just doing their job. Things have definitely got worse over the past few years, and some of the incidents that colleagues have had to deal with are truly shocking. The Government could show it is serious about protecting retail workers on the front line with a specific offence, and I hope this petition will encourage them to do that.”
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