Scottish shop workers who suffer abuse at centre of new awareness-raising campaign

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The impact of abuse, threats and violence on shop workers will be highlighted in a new awareness-raising campaign.

It comes following the passing of the Protection of Workers (Scotland) Bill and findings from the Scottish Grocers Federation, which show a rise in reported attacks on staff in 2020.

Real life testimonies feature in the campaign emphasising the damaging effect this criminal behaviour has on retail staff.

The campaign is being delivered by Crimestoppers, Fearless and the Scottish Grocers Federation, and is being funded by the Scottish Government.

 

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There was an increase in attacks on shop workers last year

Community Safety Minister Ash Denham said: “Shop workers play a crucial role in our communities and their outstanding dedication and sacrifice throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has only emphasised this.

“While overall violent crime is much lower than a decade ago, the Scottish Grocers Federation crime survey last year indicated an increase in verbal or physical abuse in 2020 among the sector.

“Such appalling behaviour is completely unacceptable and no one should have to experience it while doing their job. Like everyone else, shop workers are fully entitled to be able to work free from the threat of violence or abuse.”

The minister added: “Our awareness campaign encourages everyone to be respectful and think about how they interact with shop workers.

“For any shop worker who experience this type of criminal behaviour, we ask that they report it immediately to the Police or anonymously through CrimeStoppers or Fearless.org”

Dr John Lee of the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) said: “The launch of this retail crime campaign is a major step forward in making our shops safer for retailers and customers.

“We are delighted that the Scottish Government is supporting the campaign and we are fully committed to making it a success. Shop staff should not have to put up with any form of abuse or threatening behaviour and we are calling on all our colleagues across the industry to report every incidence of retail crime.”

And Angela Parker of CrimeStoppers said: “Everyone has the right to feel safe. Violence and aggression towards shop staff can often leave people traumatised with vital, local shops at risk of closing. We would encourage communities to speak up to our charity 100 % anonymously if they know or suspect who is responsible.”