Mark Tami MP backs Usdaw’s call for shoppers to ‘keep your cool’ and not abuse shopworkers

Respect for Shopworkers, Freedom From Fear event, Westminster

Mark Tami MP has joined with members of the retail union Usdaw to campaign for respect for shopworkers as part of the Freedom From Fear Campaign, which seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse directed at retail staff.

The campaign event took place the day after the Government blocked a Labour amendment to the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, which would have introduced a specific additional offence of assaulting a worker serving the public.

Mark Tami MP for Alyn & Deeside says: “It is not acceptable for shop workers to fear violence when they are at work but too often retail assistants are confronted with violence, threats and abuse.”

“It was estimated that there were 30,000 attacks on shopworkers last year and I believe that this amendment would have sent a clear message that everybody is entitled to feel safe in their workplace.”

The amendment, would have extended existing protections for police officers and Scottish emergency service workers to all workers serving the public, by making the assault of a worker serving the public an offence in its own right.

John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “We are grateful to Mark Tami MP who has supported our campaign to keep our members safe at work.

“Often, in the course of their duties, shopworkers are expected to enforce the law, whether that is preventing under-age purchases or detaining shoplifters until the police arrive, they can be put in real danger.

“I have been shocked by the leniency of some of the sentencing for assault of workers. What we are seeking is a simplification and clarification of the process, by taking the assault of workers out of a list of aggravating factors and creating a separate and distinct offence. This will provide clarity to the public and ensure that the offence is properly considered by the courts.”