Written evidence submitted by the John Lewis Partnership (VTR0030)


  1. Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Committee’s inquiry into violence and abuse towards retail workers.


  1. The welfare and safety of our Partners (employees) and our customers has always been an absolute priority for the John Lewis Partnership, and nevermore so than during the current Covid-19 pandemic.


  1. We welcome the Committee’s inquiry and look forward to the robust policy recommendations this will produce for the government to consider and adopt.


  1. To support the work of the committee, we have encouraged our security based Partners to respond to the public survey element of the inquiry as they are best placed to reflect their own experiences.  We are fully supportive of the work the British Retail Consortium has led in drawing attention to this important issue.


  1. For the benefit of the Committee, I have included details below of some of the measures we have introduced to better protect Partners in our Waitrose and John Lewis shops, including:


       Following a successful trial Body Worn Video (BWV) cameras have now been rolled out to priority locations across all John Lewis and 50 Waitrose stores.  We have received positive feedback from Partners in both John Lewis and Waitrose that they feel the BWV positively adds to a feeling of safety in store, and that they have a noticeable effect in deterring criminal, threatening and other malicious behaviour.

       During the Covid-19 outbreak, we have deployed Security Officers into every Waitrose & Partners shop as part of our social distancing management measures and to give greater support for our shopfloor Partners.

       A mandatory training package for all Partners, advising how to handle an abusive customer.

       As part of our zero-tolerance approach across the Partnership we actively support Partners in the completion of victim impact statements should they wish to report an incident of abuse or violence to the Police.

       Advising and informing our Partners that we operate a zero-tolerance approach to any abuse they face and encouraging them to report all incidents of abuse either to their Line or Duty Manager, or via a confidential helpline.

       Customer comms informing all customers that we operate a zero-tolerance approach to Partner abuse.


  1. I hope the above gives you a flavour of some of the numerous ways we support and protect our Partners who face abuse and violence in our shops and we look forward to the outcome of the Committee’s work.



Partner & Chief Information Security Officer


January 2021