Retailers have expressed their disappointment after MPs voted down the introduction of a new clause in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which would have made attacking a retail worker a separate formal offence.
Recently, over 100 of the UK’s leading retailers wrote to the Prime Minister calling for an amendment to the Bill in a bid to tackle escalating violence and abuse against retail workers.
A petition launched by Usdaw calling for new legislation to be implemented was also signed by 100,000 people.
Jo Whitfield, chief executive of Co-op Food, tweeted:
Extremely disappointed that the House of Commons voted against protecting our shop workers this evening. The fight continues to the next stage and we will not give up. Thanks to those MPs in our corner.
The decision follows the publication of the British Retail Consortium’s annual retail crime survey which found that:
- Violence and abuse against staff are up 7% at 455 incidents a day, from 424 last year
- Violence and abuse against staff continue to lead the way as the single most important issue for retailers with nearly nine in ten placing it in the top three issues
- This was followed by customer theft nominated by eight in ten as a top three issue
- Only 6% (6 in 100) of incidents of violence and abuse ended in prosecution and only 3% were dealt with as aggravated
- The overall cost of crime now stands at £2.5 billion, up from £2.2 billion last year
BRC: BRC Crime Survey 2021
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