Government to act on violence and abuse against shopworkers
The Government has outlined plans to crack down on abuse and violence committed against shopworkers.
In a statement from the Home Office, the government said it is working with the National Retail Crime Steering Group on a best practice guide to support retail staff in reporting these crimes. Work will also include strengthening and making full use of existing laws, and improving data sharing between businesses and the police.
The steps are designed to improve support for victims and ensure perpetrators face justice.
In addition, the Crime and Policing Minister will write to PCCs and Chief Constables to emphasise the importance of working closely with local businesses to tackle the issue and to reiterate that the theft of goods valued up to £200 from a shop should be prosecuted as a criminal offence.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “As the daughter of shopkeepers, I know what a vital role they play within our communities and just how tirelessly they have worked during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I will not tolerate violence and abuse against any shopworker and it’s right that those who commit these crimes must be caught and punished.”
The move follows a call for evidence that was open for 12 weeks. Organisations and individuals were asked to contribute to the Government’s understanding of the problem, with responses sought from retailers, trade associations, unions and people working in the retail sector.
The Government said the majority of 3,500 respondents believed abuse toward shop staff has increased and a significant number said they did not report incidents to the police.
Kit Malthouse, Minister of State for Crime and Policing, said: “Shopworkers are the beating hearts of our communities and violence or abuse against them is utterly unacceptable. Through the NRCSG, we are developing solutions which address concerns highlighted by the retail sector.
“We are determined to drive down these crimes and crucially, ensure that shopworkers are fully supported in reporting incidents to the police. ”
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