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Having lobbied MPs in Westminster for years for a change in the law to protect shopworkers, The Fed has welcomed the fact that the amended Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act has received Royal Assent.

As part of the Act, common assault against anyone working in a retail store will be classed as an aggravated offence, carrying tougher penalties.

The Fed’s National President Narinder Randhawa said: “Attacks against store owners and their staff have been increasing for a number of years, so I am pleased that we are now being given the same protection in law as other frontline workers.

“Being attacked verbally or physically while just going about your daily business should not be tolerated and seen as part of the job.

“The important thing now is that the police and the Crown Prosecution Service work together to ensure this new law is an effective deterrent and not just a piece of paper.

“It’s essential that retailers report all incidents to highlight the scale of the problem, and the police response has to improve if retail crime is to be tackled head on.”

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