The Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) has welcomed London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s support for shopworkers to be better protected as part of his re-election manifesto.
Mr Khan said:
“The pandemic has horrifically led to a doubling of the rate of incidents of abuse against retail staff, who have done such a fantastic job during the pandemic. That’s why, I back the campaign to introduce legislation which would classify attacking a retail worker as an aggravated assault to help ensure that those convicted face tougher criminal sanctions.”
The NFRN has long campaigned for the government to bring in tougher laws to tackle the increase in cases of physical and verbal abuse against retailers and their staff.
NFRN National President Stuart Reddish said:
“Independent retailers have been and continue to be at the frontline during this crisis, and have to deal with physical and verbal threats on a near daily basis for simply doing their jobs.
“We welcome Mr Khan’s support and we will continue to lobby the government to tighten the law, so that any form of attack on shop workers is taken more seriously and has more stringent penalties for those who commit such crimes.”
On January 19, the Scottish Parliament passed the Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Bill, introduced by MSP Daniel Johnson.
The new legislation makes attacking a store worker a specific offence, while assaults or abuse relating to the sale of age-restricted products – such as alcohol or tobacco – also become an aggravating factor in law, attracting higher penalties for perpetrators
The NFRN is calling on MPs in Westminster to now support the Assaults on Retail Workers (Offences) Bill presented by Alex Norris MP in 2020.