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BRC launches Shopworkers’ Protection Pledge to protect retail workers against crime

Sadiyah Ismailjee
02 September 2020

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has today launched a “Shopworkers' Protection Pledge” to help protect retail workers against crime.

A total of 11 cross-party MPs have signed their name and pledge to stand with retail employees and support legislation which protects them. The BRC is calling on MPs from all parties to add their name to this cause.

The signatories pledge aims to improve legislation following a BRC Crime Survey which revealed over 400 incidents of violence and abuse against retail workers occur every day.

Common triggers for violence and assault included social distancing and other COVID-19 safety measures.

The pledge agrees that elected Members of Parliament have an obligation to protect retail workers, guaranteeing that those who assault retail staff face the full force of the law.

Chief executive of the BRC, Helen Dickinson 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.”

In July, the British government responded to increasing calls of abuse and violence against retail workers by announcing new measures to tackle the issue.

This included working in partnership with National Retail Crime Steering Group (NRCSG) to create a best practice guide to support retail employees in reporting crimes, strengthening and making current laws more transparent as well as improving data sharing between retailers and the police.

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