Make abusing shop staff a criminal offence, demand Asda & Greggs bosses as violence soars amid UK's shoplifting epidemic | The Sun
1st October 2023

HIGH street retailers want the abuse of shop workers to be a criminal offence.

Asda, B&Q, Greggs and JD Sports chiefs are among 88 to have written to the Home Secretary saying staff face “unacceptable levels” of violence in a shoplifting crisis.

The British Retail Consortium is urging Suella Braverman to consider tough sentences for abusing or assaulting a shop worker.

They also want police forces to give retail crime greater attention.

At one major chain, cops are said to have not responded to 73 per cent of crimes.

Helen Dickinson, the BRC boss, said gangs are “threatening staff with weapons and emptying stores”.

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She added: “We are seeing a torrent of abuse aimed at hardworking shop staff. It’s simply unacceptable — no one should have to go to work fearing for their safety.

"It’s time the Government put their words into action.”

A BRC poll found violence and abuse is almost double pre-pandemic levels at 867 incidents a day, with retail theft at £953million last year.

A Home Office spokesman said: “We are supporting retailers to share better information on shoplifting with police forces.”

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