The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has launched the Shopworkers’ Protection Pledge.
It sees signatories pledge to stand with retail workers and support the legislation necessary to protect them.
11 cross-party MPs have put their name to the pledge for the launch and the BRC is calling on MPs from all parties to add their name to this cause.
The BRC Crime Survey, released earlier this year, showed that there were over 400 incidents of violence and abuse against retail staff every day.
This is despite retailers spending £1.2bn each year on crime prevention.
Common triggers for violence and abuse include challenging shoplifters, enforcing age restricted sales and implementing social distancing and other coronavirus safety measures.
Within the pledge, signatories agree that:
“As elected Members of Parliament, we have a duty to protect retail workers, ensuring that those who needlessly assault shop staff face the full force of the law. No one should have to face violence or threats in their workplace.
“I pledge to champion shopworkers in my constituency and:
- Recognise the serious impact that violence and abuse has on shopworkers and the local communities they serve
- Stand with retail workers to support legislation to better protect them
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said: “Every day, hundreds of hardworking retail colleagues are subjected to violence or abuse in their place of work. These incidents can leave physical and emotional scars, and affect not only the victim, but also their families, colleagues, and communities. Sadly, the legislation meant to protect these workers is not fit for purpose, and many of these heinous crimes continue to go unpunished.
“These incidents have multiplied during the pandemic, which is why we are now calling on MPs from all parties to come together and sign the Shopworkers’ Protection Pledge. On behalf of the three million people who work in retail; their families and their communities, there is one simple message: doing nothing is not an option.”