Usdaw urges MPs to back Labour’s ‘community policing guarantee’ to tackle retail crime
Retail trade union Usdaw has welcomed Labour’s ‘community policing guarantee’, aimed at tackling an epidemic of retail crime sweeping through the sector.
The plans are outlined in an opposition motion to be debated in the House of Commons today.
The motion by Labour is expressing concern about the increasing levels of crime in town centers, particularly shoplifting. The key points include:
- Record levels of shoplifting: Shoplifting has risen by 25% over the past year, reaching 1,000 offenses per day.
- Reduced police presence: The number of neighborhood police officers and police community support officers has decreased by 10,000 since 2015.
- Violence against shop workers: There is a growing number of incidents involving violence and abuse against shop workers, which requires immediate action.
Labour’s Proposal: The motion calls on the government to support Labour’s community policing guarantee. This includes removing the £200 limit on crown court prosecutions for shoplifting, creating a new offense for violence against shop workers, implementing town center policing plans, and adding 13,000 additional police and community support officers in town centers to address antisocial behavior.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary commented:
“This Government has repeatedly failed to act in the face of an epidemic of retail crime and rising theft from shops. The plan put forward by Labour, which builds on the commitments set out by the Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper and has widespread support across the retail industry, would make a real difference on the shopfloor for our members. It is time for this Government to end their opposition, do the right thing and help our members secure the protection they deserve.
“It was deeply disappointing that there were no measures announced in the King’s Speech to tackle high levels of theft from shops and abuse of shopworkers. Labour has promised to plug the gap in the Government’s legislative programme by seeking to amend the Government’s Criminal Justice Bill to strengthen the law to protect shopworkers from violence, threats and abuse.
“A protection of shopworkers law, which already exists in Scotland, would be a great start to tackling abuse of retail staff. We also welcome Labour’s other commitments to 13,000 more neighbourhood police with guaranteed patrols in town centres, respect orders to ban repeat offenders and ending the £200 threshold for investigating and prosecuting shop theft. Labour is clearly offering the change our members need.”
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK’s fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members.