ACS Welcomes Parliamentary Inquiry into Violence and Abuse Towards Retail Workers

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has welcomed the announcement from the House of Commons’ Home Affairs Committee of an inquiry into violence and abuse towards retail workers

Launched today (18th December) the inquiry will focus on the police response to reported incidents, and the calls for a new aggravated offence for violent and abusive behaviour towards retail workers.

The 2020 ACS Crime Report, released in March, shows there were 50,000 incidents of violence against people working in the convenience sector last year. Figures from the ACS Covid Impact Survey conducted during the first lockdown showed that 40% of retailers had experienced an increase in violence and abuse since the start of the pandemic.

In October, ACS wrote to Chair of the Home Affairs Committee, Yvette Cooper MP alongside BRC, Usdaw and NRFN to call for an inquiry to investigate the growing problem of violence and abuse against retail workers. The letter to the Committee is available here.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Violent and abusive incidents are never acceptable and can have a devastating and long-lasting impact on the individuals, businesses and communities involved. Local shops have been on the front line working tirelessly to feed and support their communities but sadly many stores have seen an increase in violent and abusive behaviour as we implement rules on face coverings and social distancing.

“We are pleased that the Home Affairs Committee has recognised the importance of addressing violence and abuse against shopworkers and we are encouraging retailers and their store colleagues to share their experiences through the public survey to ensure that their voices are heard.”

 The Committee inquiry will examine:

  • The police response to incidents of abuse and violence towards retail workers;
  • Barriers to justice for victims of retail abuse and violence;
  • Whether a new aggravated offence is required;
  • The adequacy of the Government’s response to its call for evidence.

As part of the inquiry, the Committee is running a public survey aimed at people who have experienced violence or abuse in the course of their work, to gather information and experiences of what happens after an incident is reported. The public survey is available here. The survey will be open until Friday 15 January 2021.

This entry was posted by Chloe on Fri, 18/12/2020 - 15:36