Jim Fitzpatrick MP has joined with members of the retail union Usdaw to campaign for respect for shop workers as part of the ‘Freedom From Fear’ Campaign, which seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse directed at retail staff.
Attending a campaign event in the House of Commons, Jim pledged to support greater protection for shop workers and other public facing workers whilst they go about their jobs.
Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse says:
“No one should be confronted with violence, threats and abuse in the workplace. We must stand together and ask people to respect shop workers.
“The numbers show that the human cost of retail crime is growing, with a 40% increase in offences involving abuse or violence against shop workers.
“I’ll continue to campaign with Usdaw for a change in the law to ensure that proper punishments are given out – assaulting workers who are serving the public is totally unacceptable.”
John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary says:
“Often, in the course of their duties, shop workers are expected to enforce the law, whether that is preventing under-age purchases of products like knives, tobacco or alcohol, or detaining shoplifters until the police arrive, they can be put in real danger. Parliament has given shop workers the duty to enforce the law, so Parliament should provide the necessary protection.
“I have been shocked by the leniency of some of the sentences for assault of workers. Around 200 shop workers are assaulted every day and it is time to say enough is enough. The Government must act to address this issue and act quickly.
“I’ve been very disappointed to see Tory and Liberal MPs, on five occasions combine to block this measure when proposed by Labour. The Conservative record on tackling retail crime shows that since 2010 there are 20,000 fewer police and a steady increase in shoplifting rising 8% this year, but the number of shop thieves going to court dropping by a quarter.”
Shop workers in Poplar and Limehouse can take part in Usdaw’s survey of violence and abuse against retail staff here: www.usdaw.org.uk/respectsurvey