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BRC launches Shopworkers’ Protection Pledge


By Huw Hughes

2 Sep 2020

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has launched the Shopworkers’ Protection Pledge calling for support for new legislation to protect retail workers from violence, threats and abuse.

Eleven cross-party MPs have already signed the pledge.

The BRC Crime Survey, released earlier this year, found there were more than 400 incidents of violence and abuse against retail staff each day, despite retailers spending 1.2 billion pounds each year on crime prevention.

In July, the government said it would crack down on abuse and violence against retail workers through a number of new measures. They include working alongside the National Retail Crime Steering Group (NRCSG) to create a best practice guide to support staff reporting crimes, strengthening and making full use of current laws, and improving data sharing between retailers and the police.

But the BRC thinks more needs to be done in terms of legislation. “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,” BRC CEO Helen Dickinson said in a statement. “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.”

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