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Just four days after a new law took effect in Scotland to better protect shop workers from abuse, a man has been charged.

On Saturday August 28, a 40-year-old man was arrested in Livingston after causing a disturbance in a shop. The man was charged with an offence under the new Protection of Retail Workers (Scot) Act 2021, which came into force on August 24.

The day before the law came into force (August 23), the NFRN’s immediate past Scottish President and store owner, Hussan Lal, had met with Daniel Johnson, a Labour MSP and former retailer, to thank him for his Private Members Bill to offer retailers more protection against crime.

Mr Lal said: “We are grateful to Mr Johnson and other parties including Ash Denham, the Minister for Community Safety, for making this new law come about. We now have something to charge culprits with.”

Speaking after the first arrest and charge, National President Stuart Reddish said: “It is great to see that this law is already helping to protect retail workers in Scotland. It is a top priority of the NFRN to ensure that similar laws are put into place across the rest of the UK and Ireland.

“I get calls from retailers every day about their experiences with retail crime,” he continued. “The effects of retail crime are devastating and long lasting. It’s not just the physical harm to retail workers and their stores but also the mental toll that attacks and abuse can lead to. No-one should be attacked for simply doing their job, especially not retail workers.”

As part of its efforts to highlight retail crime and the effects on independent retailers and their staff, the NFRN has created a retail crime survey for NFRN members to complete. A link to the survey can be found here.

Completing the crime survey will help to inform our political engagement team as it continues to meet with Police and Crime Commissioners from across England and Wales.. If you wish to discuss any retail crime issues in more depth, please contact Sophy at sophy.walker@nfrn.org.uk.

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