PCC Hardyal Dhindsa (Centre) with Dennis Nash – Usdaw Area Organiser for the Midlands Division, Karl Hall, Central England Co-operative Loss Prevention Adviser
Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa pledged his support for the “Respect for Shopworkers Week” when he visited Ripley Co-op this week.
The move came after a survey carried out by Usdaw, the shopworkers’ trade union, revealed a shocking rise in reports of violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers.
The Commissioner said today: “No-one should be subjected to violence or abuse at any time and it is shocking that people trying to serve members of the public are attacked in this way.
“I’m pleased to support Usdaw’s campaign, and I would also call upon retail stores to invoke a zero-tolerance policy towards violence in their stores. I know that the police will do all that they can to support that.
This awareness week (13-19 Nov) is part of the Freedom from Fear Campaign, which seeks to prevent verbal abuse, threats and violent attacks at work.
Interim results of Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Survey show that over the past year nearly two-thirds of shopworkers were verbally abused, 40% were threatened and around 250 were assaulted every day. These are significant increases on last year’s survey with abuse and assaults up by 25% and threats increased by 38%. The survey continues and full results will be released in the New Year.
John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Violence, threats and abuse against workers is one of the great scourges of our society. The statistics are shocking and show that urgent action is required. Many UK workers are on the frontline of dealing with the public and that can mean they end up on the wrong side of a verbal or physical assault.
“Usdaw’s survey findings are in line with other statistics recently released. The Office for National Statistics last month reported an 11% increase in shoplifting, continuing the trend of a 26% increase since 2012, theft from shops is often a trigger for abuse of shopworkers. Earlier in the year the British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealed a 40% increase in incidents of violence and abuse against retail staff as part of their annual retail crime survey.
“We really have to question whether this is a consequence of severe cuts in police funding. Since 2010 there are 20,000 fewer police, shoplifting is rising, but fewer shop thieves going to court. Only last week Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary found in their third annual report that police forces are under significant financial pressure and some are failing to respond to “low priority crimes” including theft, assault and violence.”
Posted on Friday 17th November 2017