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Alex takes action to combat retail violence and protect retail staff

Vowing to stand with retail staff and support legislation to better protect shopworkers from violence and abuse, Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has signed up to support the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Shopworkers’ Protection Pledge.

Violence and abuse of shopworkers remains a serious concern in Stockton North. Recognising the serious impact that such crimes has on staff, their colleagues, and their families, Alex is committed to finding ways to end this scourge on local communities.

Alex has signed his support to:

  • Pledge to champion shopworkers in my constituency
  • 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. 

The retail industry spends over £1.2 billion per year on crime prevention, yet, every day, there are over 400 incidents of violence and abuse against retail staff. Common triggers include challenging shoplifters, enforcing age restricted sales and implementing social distancing and other coronavirus safety measures. The pledge calls for tougher penalties for attacks on shopworkers through the creation of a specific criminal offence.

Speaking about the campaign, Alex said:

“The level of violence and abuse against retail workers is extremely concerning and I fully support the BRC’s Shopworkers’ Protection Pledge.

“These are the individuals who selflessly put themselves on the frontline during the height of the pandemic in order to ensure everyone had access to necessities. Current measures in places are clearly insufficient and more must be done to deter criminals. We need to do all we can to ensure no one faces violence or abuse in the workplace, and I will support legislation to protect retail staff in my constituency and beyond.”

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:
“Every day, hundreds of hardworking retail staff are subjected to violence or abuse in their place of work. These incidents leave physical and emotional scars, and affect not only the victim, but also their families, colleagues, and communities. Sadly, existing law, meant to protect these workers, is not fit for purpose, and many of these heinous crimes continue to go unpunished.

“We are 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.”