24 April 2015

If you are a shopworker you either need to learn the art of self defence or decide to work somewhere other than London, which was revealed this week as the UK's assault capital where 56 shopworkers are attacked every day.

The USDAW survey also showed that 36.3% of London shopworkers had been threatened by customers (also the highest in the country) and the capital topped the table for verbal abuse, with over 58% of shopworkers having faced customer rage.

The union's General Secretary John Hannett said: "Our survey shows that life on the frontline of retail can be pretty tough for many shopworkers and there is still a lot to do to help protect them. So we welcome Labour’s manifesto commitment to ensure staff who work with the public are given greater protection, with tougher penalties for those who assault them."

In the face of growing concerns amongst retail workers about violence, threats and abuse, the union launched its "Freedom From Fear" campaign but it remains concerned that too many criminals who assault staff are not even sent to court or, if they are, receive only derisory sentences.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: "I can assure everyone that a Labour Government will make sure staff working with the public get greater protection from attacks, with tougher penalties for criminals."