Sir David Amess MP takes action to combat retail violence and protect retail staff

Local MP, Sir David Amess, has signed up to support the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Shop Workers’ Protection Pledge, vowing to stand with retail staff and support legislation to better protect shop workers from violence and abuse.

Violence and abuse of shop workers remains a serious concern in Southend West. Recognising the serious impact that such crimes has on staff, their colleagues, and their families, Sir David is committed to finding ways to end this scourge on local communities.

Sir David has signed his support to:

Pledge to champion shop workers in my constituency and:

  • Recognise the serious impact that violence and abuse has on shop workers and the local communities they serve.
  • Stand with retail workers to support legislation to better protect them. 

The retail industry spends over £1.2 billion per year on crime prevention, yet, every day, there are over 400 incidents of violence and abuse against retail staff. Common triggers include challenging shoplifters, enforcing age restricted sales and implementing social distancing and other coronavirus safety measures. The pledge calls for tougher penalties for attacks on shop workers through the creation of a specific criminal offence.

Commenting Sir David said, “The level of violence and abuse against retail workers is extremely concerning and I fully support of the BRC’s Shop Workers’ Protection Pledge.

“These are the individuals who selflessly put themselves on the front line during the height of the pandemic in order to ensure everyone had access to necessities. Current measures in places are clearly insufficient and more must be done to deter criminals. We need to do all we can to ensure no one faces violence or abuse in the workplace, and I will support legislation to protect retail staff in my constituency and beyond.”

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:
“Every day, hundreds of hardworking retail staff are subjected to violence or abuse in their place of work. These incidents leave physical and emotional scars, and affect not only the victim, but also their families, colleagues, and communities. Sadly, existing law, meant to protect these workers, is not fit for purpose, and many of these heinous crimes continue to go unpunished.

“We are calling on MPs from all parties to come together and sign the Shop Workers Protection Pledge. On behalf of the three million people who work in retail; their families and their communities, there is one simple message: doing nothing is not an option.”