ACS Welcomes New Protections for Shopworkers in Scotland

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s decision to pass a Bill to create a new statutory offence for assaulting, threatening or abusing a retail worker, particularly those applying or enforcing an age-restriction in relation to the sale or supply of goods or services.

The Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Bill was proposed by Daniel Johnson MSP and backed unanimously by MSPs in a vote yesterday. The Bill will now be submitted for Royal Assent before becoming an Act of the Scottish Parliament. ACS has supported colleagues at the shopworkers union Usdaw and the Scottish Grocers Federation who have led the campaign for this legislation.

The ACS’ 2020 Crime Report revealed an estimated 50,338 incidents of violence and threats towards convenience store colleagues across the UK, 18,399 robberies and almost 10,000 incidents involving a weapon.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The introduction of legislation in Scotland on the protection of retail workers sends a clear message to offenders that violent and abusive behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Now we need the police, courts and businesses to take these offences seriously and to use these enhanced penalties effectively.

“This unanimous vote further demonstrates the urgent need for Westminster to provide the same reassurance and protection for retail workers who have been working tirelessly to serve their communities throughout the course of the Covid-19 crisis.”

Alex Norris MP’s Assaults on Retail Workers Bill was scheduled to be debated in Parliament but is yet to have its second reading. The Bill seeks to create a statutory aggravation for assaults against retail workers, which would increase the options for more serious sentences for those convicted.

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This entry was posted by Chloe on Wed, 20/01/2021 - 16:11