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17 April 2024 - Violence and abuse towards retail workers - Oral evidence

Committee Home Affairs Committee
Inquiry Violence and abuse towards retail workers

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Start times: 9:00am (private) 9:30am (public)


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Will new law stop violence and abuse against retail workers – Home Affairs evidence session

The Home Affairs Committee holds an evidence session examining the issue of violence and abuse towards retail workers. The session follows up on the Committee’s report, Violence and abuse towards retail workers, which was published in 2021 and comes a week after the Government announced plans to make assaulting a shop worker a criminal offence.  

Meeting details

At 9:30am: Oral evidence
Inquiry Violence and abuse towards retail workers
Head of Research and Policy at Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers
Government Relations Director at Association of Convenience Stores
Campaigns, Public Affairs and Board Secretariat Director at The Co-op
Head of Engagement at Federation of Wholesale Distributors
At 10:30am: Oral evidence
Inquiry Violence and abuse towards retail workers
Lead for the National Business Crime Centre at City of London Police
Retail Crime Lead at National Police Chiefs’ Council
Acquisitive Crime Lead at National Police Chief's Council

Incidents of violence and abuse towards retail workers continue to grow. According to the British Retail Consortium, there are 1,300 incidents of violence or abuse every day. 87% of store workers have experienced verbal abuse, and 25% have been subject to physical violence, according to the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS). The ACS also found that 68% of members were very dissatisfied with the police response to incidents.

The Government announced last week that it intends to introduce a separate criminal offence for assaulting a shop worker, a measure the Home Affairs Committee proposed in its 2021 report. This was announced as part of wider set of measures in the Government’s plan to fight retail crime, building on the Retail Crime Action Plan published by the National Police Chiefs’ Council in October 2023.

In this session, the Committee hears from representatives of retail workers, wholesale workers and the police about the scale of violence and abuse, and the impact it has on victims. It also looks at the police response to such incidents, as well as the impact of Government strategies to deal with crime in a retail setting.  

Location

The Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

How to attend