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The Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) has welcomed today’s (October 10) announcement from shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper that Labour would crackdown on shoplifting and violence against shop workers.

In a speech to the Labour Party Conference this morning, Ms Cooper said that a Labour government would introduce legislation on “tough new sentencing for assaults on retail workers.”

Highlighting issues facing those working in retail across the UK, the shadow home secretary also committed to ending the £200 threshold stigma surrounding theft, improving police presence by hiring 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCSOs and bringing in orders that would bar repeat offenders from town centres.

In her address, Ms Cooper said: “We will stand with USDAW, with the Coop, with Tesco, with our convenience stores, with retailers and shopworkers across the country, with a new law and tougher sentences for attacks on our shopworkers because everyone has the right to feel safe at work.”

Responding, the Fed’s National President Muntazir Dipoti said: “We campaigned successfully in Scotland for the establishment of a standalone offence for those who abuse or use violence against retail workers. We are glad to see that the Labour Party is adopting this and has made a commitment to protecting retail workers.”

He added: “The Fed has campaigned for years for action to be taken against shop crime. With violence and abuse against retail staff and shop crime incidents continuing to rise, we welcome these commitments by the Labour Party to bring effective change to this issue.”

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