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Assaults on Retail Workers (Offences) Bill 2019-21


Bira is working with Government to support the Assaults on Retail Workers (Offences) Bill 2019-21. The Bill will make certain offences, including malicious wounding, grievous or actual bodily harm and common assaults, aggravated when perpetrated against a retail worker in the course of their employment. It will make provision about the sentencing of persons convicted of such aggravated offences; and for connected purposes.

Some useful stats in relation to this Bill:

  • In 2019, Co-op funded research carried out by Dr Emmeline Taylor, City, University of London, into retail crime. The ‘It’s not part of the job’ report showed hard-hitting findings including that shop workers were showing signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • BRC 2020 Crime report showed that there are:
    • 424 incidents of violence or abuse each day, up 9%.
    • 70% of respondents saw the police response as ‘Poor’ or ‘Very Poor’.
  • ACS 2020 Crime report found:
    • A quarter of violent incidents resulted in injury, with a weapon used in almost 20% of occurrences.
    • A knife was the most common used weapon (43%) with axes, hammers and syringes used to attack or threaten shopworkers.
  • Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Survey show that over the past year over two-thirds of shopworkers were verbally abused, 41% were threatened and around 400 were assaulted every day. These are significant increases on last year’s survey with abuse and assaults up by 25%.

The next stage for this Bill, Second reading, is scheduled to take place on Friday 25 September 2020.

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