3.In the last 5 years the level of physical violence and abuse directed towards retail workers has increased significantly. Data gathered by individual businesses, trade associations, trade unions and the Home Office all confirm this is a growing problem. In May 2021 the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which represents around 70% of the UK retail industry, published a report which found that the frequency of incidents of violence and abuse rose by 7% from 424 incidents per day in 2018/2019 to 455 in 2019/2020. This amounts to the equivalent of over 50 incidents an hour or almost one a minute during a typical 9-hour shopping day also including an average of 11 violent incidents every hour or roughly one every 5 to 6 minutes.1
4.The retail sector includes any business or individual involved with selling products directly to consumers. The economic output of the retail sector in the 2019/20 financial year was £97 billion, 5.2% of the UK’s total economic output, a 2.5% fall on figures for 2018/19.2 Employment in the retail sector was around 3 million in 2019, representing 9.3% of the UK total.3 Retail jobs, in over 310,000 retail businesses, are fairly evenly distributed across most regions and counties of the UK.4
5.The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), which represents over 33,500 local shops, found that 89% of individuals working in local shops had experienced some form of abuse. Its members recorded 1.26 million incidents of verbal abuse and 40,000 incidents of violence, of which 19% resulted in injury and 10,345 involved a weapon.5 Since 2007, USDAW has surveyed between 1,500 and 7,000 shop workers each year to gather first-hand accounts regarding levels of violence and abuse. Between 2015 and 2019, the number of workers experiencing verbal abuse increased from just over half to around two-thirds, whilst the number threatened during the course of their duties increased by around a third.6 The scale of the abuse was also reflected in responses to the Committee’s public survey: 70% of the 12,667 retail workers that responded had both witnessed and experienced violence and abuse whilst working.
Figure 1: Response from 12,667 retail workers to the question ‘Have you experienced violence and abuse whilst working?
6.Businesses that submitted evidence to the inquiry have helped illustrate what these national figures and trends look like at shop level. The Co-op informed us that they have seen a fourfold rise in incidents of violent crime between 2014 and 2020. In addition, levels of verbal abuse, including threats, have increased by over forty times in the period Q4 2015 (215 incidents) to Q4 2020 (10,083 incidents).7
Figure 2: Co-op levels of violent crime
Figure 3: Levels of anti-social behaviour and verbal abuse
Source: Written evidence submitted by Co-op (VTR0027)
7.Paul Gerrard, giving evidence on behalf of the Co-op, put these figures into context when he said that in 2019/20 “this means that across 2,600 stores in the Co-op group we saw something like 43,000 incidents of violence or abuse. That equates to 110 of my colleagues being abused or threatened every single day, 10 being attacked, and 5 of those attacks involving weapons.”8 He concluded “we are in a position now where it has become normalised in society to go in and abuse and attack shop workers, often with weapons.”9 Marks and Spencer told us that they have seen a “steady increase” in the number of verbal and physical assaults, with physical assaults taking place at a rate of just under 2 per day across their 1,519 stores.10 Morrisons described its colleagues facing “violent confrontation on a daily basis” and also noted “rising numbers of incidents involving weapons such as firearms, knives and syringes.”11 Sainsbury’s also told us that “violence and aggression are increasing year on year, with serious physical assaults trending upwards”. In 2020, there were over 4,500 violent incidents involving a weapon across the Sainsburys estate, an increase of more than a third on last year, continuing an already upward trend. They told us the most common weapons reported included “knives, machetes, blades, needles, scissors, and screwdrivers”.12
8.The Home Office’s 2018 Commercial Victimisation Survey, the latest survey which has been conducted,13 also recognised “the rising trend” in assaults and threats against retail workers, noting an increase from 500 incidents per 1,000 premises in 2016 to 1,600 per 1,000 premises in 2018. The 2018 Survey estimated that larger business premises (with 50+ employees) experienced 13,800 incidents per 1,000 premises a rate around 28 times higher than that experienced by smaller sized premises (1–9 employees) and around three times higher than medium sized premises (10–49 employees).14 In April 2019, the Government launched a call for evidence on violence and abuse towards shop staff.15 The Government’s response, published in July 2020, acknowledges that “the available evidence highlights that there has been an increase in incidents of violence and abuse toward shop staff” and outlines the Government’s plans to tackle this crime.16 Four ‘task and finish groups’ were created to take forward the Home Office’s work in response to the call for evidence. The groups were tasked with:
9.These resources, developed in concert with the National Retail Crime Steering Group, are now published on the British Retail Crime website.18 The National Retail Crime Steering Group brings together Government, police and industry representatives to focus on the response to crimes affecting the retail sector.19 The Government response also referred to the introduction of legislation for community penalties, the white paper ‘A Smarter Approach to Sentencing’ was subsequently published in September 2020.20 The Minister for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse MP, has also written to Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners about working with local business, the use of Victim and Business Impact Statements, prosecution of low value theft and licensing issues.21 We discuss the Government’s response throughout the report.
10.No one should encounter violence at work. The last 5 years has seen a shocking rise in attacks on retail workers. We find it very disturbing that violence and abuse towards those working in the retail environment is becoming endemic in British society. The appalling truth, exposed comprehensively by data from the industry, is that for millions of shop workers verbal abuse and physical violence is becoming a too frequent reality. We are particularly alarmed by evidence of the increased use of weapons during incidences of theft. A robust response led by Government is urgently required to break this escalating cycle of violence. Shop workers are often the lifeblood of local high streets and communities. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, those in essential retail continued to work and kept our communities going. It is unacceptable that they should regularly face abuse and violence at work.
11.Several stakeholders told us that retail crime is seen as a “victimless crime” because it is perceived as a crime against businesses, rather than against individuals.22 Many others told us that retail workers have come to view violence and abuse as “just part of the job” or “the norm.”23 During our inquiry, the Committee has heard many accounts of violent and distressing incidents and the terrible impact this can have on the health and wellbeing of retail workers.
12.The British Retail Consortium report found that even what may seem like a mild argument can have a significant emotional impact on a staff member who is not accustomed to “being placed in a position where they are expected to just stand by and accept any abuse”. Attacks without injury or violence are “no less attacks for that reason–they can leave unseen impacts on the people affected”.24 Sainsbury’s told us that after an incident, regardless of the severity and irrespective of whether it was related to a verbal attack or being victim of an armed robbery, colleagues described feeling “’frightened’, ‘scared’, and ‘fearful’”.25 Dixons Carphone told us that violent thefts have caused its colleagues to suffer “long-term illnesses, such as depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).”26 Pets at Home told us about “numerous cases” of abuse having a detrimental effect on the mental health of its employees and disrupting “personal lives outside of their working environment.”27 Commissioner Ian Dyson, National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for business crime, told us he had been struck by the impact on individual shopworkers of the violence, and the threats of violence, which is “causing significant psychological stress, welfare issues and in fact leading to a number of people leaving retail”.28
A male youth attempted to buy an energy drink and when challenged for age identification punched a colleague in the jaw causing a facial injury. This colleague was psychologically affected by the incident and was unable to continue in their current role. They have now left the business as a result.
Source: Morrisons (VTR0028)
13.Many stakeholders emphasised that these incidents can lead retail workers to have anxiety and fear about returning to work because of the possibility that the offender will return to the shop or another incident will take place.29 Joanne Cairns, representing USDAW, told us:
it is not even just experiencing the incident; it is the anxiety of knowing that the next incident could be just around the corner. Going into work every day not knowing what could happen has a massive impact on people in their daily life.”30
14.The British Retail Consortium told us that some of its members have reported instances of threats from offenders who live in the local area and “claim they know where a store worker lives and will go after them”. Others have reported incidents of “psychological intimidation such as stalking shopworkers when they leave the premises at lunchtime” which is causing significant distress.31
A female shoplifter was stopped by our security guard with medicines that she hadn’t paid for when he asked to look in her bag as she was leaving the store. She refused and stabbed him with a needle, leaving the store before returning with her boyfriend who pushed, shoved and verbally abused the security guard before finally leaving.
Source: Co-op Group (VTR0027)
15.The appalling abuse suffered by retail workers on a daily basis is completely unacceptable. Abuse should never be “simply part of the job” or accepted as a “norm” in any workplace. The unique vulnerability of retail workers, who face being confronted with repeat offenders who live in their local area, compounds the severity and regularity of these offences.
16.In this section we will first consider evidence on the long-term causes of rising violence and abuse towards retail workers then look at how the nature of these offences has changed under the exceptional conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic.
17.In September 2019, Professor Emmeline Taylor published a report which identified four main scenarios in which violence and abuse are becoming prevalent:
18.Respondents to the Home Office’s 2019 call for evidence described “an increase in shop theft and greater willingness among offenders to use violence and abuse” and “an increase in drug and alcohol abuse among offenders” as key causes of the increase in violence.33 The ACS 2021 Crime Report also found a “direct link” between acquisitive crime and violent crimes with shop theft offences “the biggest trigger point” for incidents.34 The BRC Crime Survey 2021 identified “theft by organised gangs” who make a profit by selling goods online and an “increasing number of addicts” who are turning to retail crime to support their habit.35 These themes were clearly reflected in the evidence submitted to this inquiry. Commissioner Ian Dyson, business crime lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), told us that with regards to retail crime there are three broad areas of offending:
19.The British Retail Consortium told us that incidents “appear to be increasingly linked to the activities of organised criminal gangs. These criminals are targeting retail as a stable income stream and are prepared to use violence or threats of violence to get their way … Over 90% of our members have seen an increase in the amount of gang related crime they witness.”37 Morrisons told us that while some offenders are “opportunist” others are “organised groups who are well equipped and often armed with weapons, such as crow bars and hammers, which they will use to threaten colleagues.”38 Tom Ironside, representing the British Retail Consortium, said “retailers frequently report seeing an increasingly sophisticated, premeditated, well-planned element to some shop theft” where criminals target high-value consumer goods, which are likely to be tradeable.39 We heard that tackling this small number of professional criminals, who are members of organised violent gangs, “could significantly reduce harm.”40 Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman, NPCC serious organised acquisitive crime lead, told us about a series of “nasty robbery offences”, taking place across the country, which targeted phone dealers for iPhones and iPads. The robberies were the work of an organised crime group who had also “coerced” individuals into their activity.41
[Store X] has been targeted twice in the last 2 months. The first incident there were no weapons seen or abuse towards anyone. They grabbed Apple stock and ran. Reported to Metropolitan Police but no arrests. On the second occasion, 4 suspects forced their way into the store past colleagues manning the front door and proceeded to take Apple stock again. Threatened to stab anyone who tried to stop them.
[Store X] Three suspects entered the store just after 10am. They were verbally aggressive to colleagues demanding that they stand back. One suspect had a broken snooker cue. Suspects targeted Apple and Samsung stock. Net loss was over £10000.
Source: Dixons Carphone (VTR0012)
20.Professor Emmeline Taylor’s report identified a strong relationship between substance misuse, shop theft and the use of violence and aggression by drug-affected offenders.42
An offender enters a store under the influence of alcohol. Upon being escorted out by security, the offender threatened to bite and hit the security officer. Outside the store the offender punched the windows and threatened colleagues and security. Colleague dialled 999 but there were no units available.
Source: Central England Co-operative (VTR0014)
21.Paul Gerrard, Campaigns and Public Affairs Director at the Co-op, said “we have seen increasing numbers of prolific offenders who either use shop theft to fund personal substance misuse or are being used by organisations.”43 James Lowman, Chief Executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, said the reason for the level of violence and abuse that comes with the act of theft is that “many of the people committing those crimes have problems with addiction. Many of them are in a heightened state” which means they escalate very quickly to acts of violence and abuse.44 Iona Blake, representing Boots UK, told us:
It has been an increasing picture over the last five years. There are a couple of factors in that. There is desperation around shop thefts and people looking to fund substance abuse habits or even to fund a style of living. Some individuals are in situations of real poverty. We definitely see that theft is one big driver of incidents of violence and abuse across all our 2,500 stores.45
An offender concealed alcohol with intent to steal, and noticed a female colleague completing daily tasks near the exit. The offender walked up and unprovoked punched her in the stomach, causing her to fall into the barriers. The colleague was eight months pregnant at the time of the attack.
A known offender entered the store, recognised by a manager who waited at the exit doors for them to leave. The offender went behind them, placed a carrier bag over her head and pulled her to the floor.
Source: Sainsbury’s (VTR0019)
22.The retail workforce is 58% female and has a high proportion of black and minority ethnic workers.46 This means that incidences of violence and abuse against retail workers disproportionately affect individuals in these groups. Joanne Cairns told us that women are “more likely to face abuse at work than their male colleagues” with 70% of female workers surveyed by USDAW reporting abuse from customers compared with 62% of their male colleagues.47 James Lowman, ACS, noted that just over 40% of independent retailers running convenience stores identify as Asian or British Asian and “themselves, and unfortunately their families are often the victims” of racist abuse.48
“A man came into the store and became angry with my colleague who was trying to enforce the social distancing rules. The man began shouting at [my colleague] at which point the security guard came over to assess the situation. The man told the security guard to ‘F**k off, you monkey. F**k off you p***y’. Both [my colleague] and the security guard were shocked by this language and told the man they would not serve them. The man attempted to shoplift some items when the security guard asked him to put them back. The man responded with ‘you dare stop me you monkey, I will f**king kill you, me and you, let’s fight outside. I will kick your f**king head in and I will kill you, you f**king monkey’. The security guard continued to ask him to put the items back, and the man continued his threats and abuse.”
Source: Co-op Group (VTR0027)
23.In her 2018 report, Professor Emmeline Taylor expressed concern that when a hate incident occurs in a shop and, in particular, as part of a theft incident, that “its seriousness is missed.” She recommended that future iterations of the Home Office’s Commercial Victimisation Survey include questions to measure levels of hate-motivated offences.49 Wickes told us that between 1 June and 30 November 2020, 10% of the incidents it recorded were “discriminatory” but that hate crimes are “not deemed serious enough to deploy resources” by the police.50 Detective Inspector Patrick Holdaway said that when local convenience stores, whose workers are often on their own, report that they are subject to hate crimes they will be seen as more vulnerable by the police and therefore become “very much on our radar.” He emphasised that the police are driven by reporting which “is really critical for us”.51 However, Commissioner Ian Dyson acknowledged that:
what has probably happened in the past—and may well still happen, frankly—which is a bit of a binary discussion that says to an individual owner of a shop who is worried about retaliation or hate crime and all those other factors, “If you don’t provide us with a statement, we can’t take it forward”. It is a very binary conversation that is really hard for that individual, to say, “Am I going to put myself on offer, head above the parapet?”
24.We discuss the police response and reporting in greater depth in Chapter 2.
A female threw carrot cakes at the store manager and pushed the security guard and called a BAME colleague a “Chinese Bitch”. The suspect threatened the store manager, saying she would wait for the manager outside the store.
Source: British Retail Consortium (BRC) (VTR0015)
25.Where shopworkers are confronted by hate-motivated abuse in the course of their employment this should be taken seriously by employers and reported to the police. It is vital that the police, in dealing with these incidents, manage them with sensitivity and give them the attention that they deserve. We support calls for future iterations of the Home Office Commercial Victimisation Survey to include questions on incidents of hate related violence and abuse to help build a clearer picture of the prevalence of this form of abuse.
26.Age-restricted sales were among the “top three triggers” reported in the ACS 2021 Crime Report.52 The Co-op told us that within its business 15% of incidents resulted from age-restricted ID verification. In addition, it found that “the refusal of alcohol sales to those who are already under the influence” can also cause “a heightened degree of violence and abusive incidents towards our colleagues”.53 In its 2019 survey, USDAW found that the highest ranking triggers for abuse were shoplifting (30%) and age restricted sales (29%), which had consistently been the case for many years of surveying.54 The 2021 BRC Crime Survey said its members found “asking someone for their age ID” was a common trigger for attacks and noted that “failure to carry out these check can result in a criminal conviction for the employee while the perpetrator goes free.”55
“A young male was refused alcohol due to being underage, he made threats to the colleague. A couple of hours later the youth returned to the store, approached the colleague and struck him with a house brick causing a head injury.”
Source: Morrisons (VTR0028)
27.Finally, several stakeholders identified the lack of response from the police as a factor driving the increase in violence and abuse. Iona Blake, representing Boots UK, told us “the risk of prosecution and being caught has deteriorated so much that people are seemingly prepared to take more risks more frequently. There is definitely an increase around prolific and persistent offenders.”56 Paul Gerrard, the Co-op, said “the risk associated with these crimes has disappeared because the police response is, at best, variable … We see reducing risk because there is little police presence”.57 James Lowman, ACS, told us that there is a group of offenders who are “armed robbers” which the police take very seriously. However, the other group of offenders are people “who may start off stealing, may then add more aggression into that behaviour, and might then bring a weapon. They move up, effectively, into armed robbery, but from a point of desperation around theft.” He told us that he wanted to see earlier interventions with regards to this latter group, which made up “the majority” of cases.58 Dunelm Soft Furnishings observed an escalation in threats with perpetrators trying to intimidate shop workers which they attributed to “the person doing this knows there is little chance of being caught and no consequence even if they are caught”.59 The National Federation of Retail Newsagents said they thought “a strong police response” to simple shop theft “might serve to stop future, more serious incidents, but it is here that the police response is weakest”.60 Marks and Spencer told us starkly:
In terms of the reasons for this increase, we have seen that local police forces have struggled to respond to reports of assaults in our stores. As a result, colleagues have become less inclined to report assaults to the police, as they believe that there is ‘no point’ when it is likely that no action will follow. In turn, perpetrators become aware of the lack of reporting and feel more confident that they will not suffer any consequences for their actions.61
28.A 2018 report from the Centre for Social Justice described shop theft as “extremely attractive” due to its low risk of detection and the ability to generate cash quickly from the sale of largely untraceable property. It quoted the words of one prolific offender who stated: “I can honestly say I have gotten away with thousands and thousands of shoplifts, thousands.”62
29.There are several factors driving the increase in violence and abuse towards retail workers over the last 5 years. However, the primary factor appears to be increasing levels of acquisitive theft which are linked to both organised crime and prolific offenders with substance addiction problems. By comparison, conflict over the sale of age restricted products has been a consistent trigger for violence and abuse over a much longer period. We are particularly concerned by evidence which suggests failures in the police response are fuelling the increases in offending.
30.The UK went into lockdown for the first time between late March and June 2020. Across the UK, non-essential high street businesses have been intermittently closed whilst essential retailers, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, have remained open throughout the pandemic. Research from USDAW, published in the summer of 2020, found that during this period enforcement of social distancing measures replaced age-related sales and shoplifting as the most frequent cause of incidents in stores.63 Furthermore, USDAW’s interim crime survey, published in November 2020, showed that 76% of shop workers said that abuse has been “worse than normal” during the pandemic.64 Flashpoints for abuse have centred on customers’ frustrations with queuing, limits on stock, mandatory mask wearing and social distancing in store.65
“I’ve been screamed at when I told a customer we didn’t have an item in stock, had members of the public cough on me as I was stacking shelves.” “I had somebody pull my mask off and call me a sheep.” “Since the pandemic, I’ve had abuse nearly every day, even been coughed on twice.” Those are just some of the comments that we have had from members, and these sorts of things are happening all the time.
Source: Joanne Cairns, USDAW Q6
31.Paul Gerrard told us that in the last year Covid has become “the prominent trigger” for violence and abuse.66 Wickes told us it experienced a sharp increase of 84% in the number of incidents reported in 2020 compared to 2019 with “two spikes which directly correlated with the first and second national lockdown periods”.67 Marks and Spencer told us that in 2020 it saw a 36% increase in assaults and a 27% increase in violent assaults. That is the difference between 1 in every 13,215 customers assaulting one of its employees, compared to 1 in 17,582 customers before the pandemic started.68 Pets at Home said that during 2020, incidents involving violence, threats of violence and verbal abuse have “increased threefold.”69
32.Data collected by UK Finance, which represents major high-street banks, shows that in the 12-month period to the end of March 2021 serious assaults and abuse against frontline staff increased by nearly 80 per cent compared to the previous 12-month period. The worst incidents have resulted in one UK Finance member ending its relationship with customers and closing 775 accounts.70 Nationwide Building Society told us that between December 2019 and July 2020 the number of incidents logged “rose by a shocking 300%” with the number of incidents recorded in December 2020 at 86% higher than in December 2019. These incidents included; 34 threats to kill, 26 members of staff assaulted and 26 Covid related incidents where members of the public “spat at colleagues”.71 David Jamieson, then PCC for the West Midlands, told us that some shops advised staff “not to rigidly enforce mask wearing and social distancing rules” in order to protect them against abuse.72 The Central England Co-operative captured the outrage expressed by many stakeholders to this inquiry when it told us:
Throughout the pandemic, shopworkers have been on the frontline and continue to serve their local communities tirelessly, despite the increased risk of contracting COVID-19. They deserve to work free of abuse and threat.73
33.They also provided the following comparison table to illustrate how violent crime had increased during this period:
Box1: Violent crime 2019 v 2020
Source: Central England Co-operative (VTR0014)
34.An overwhelming number of stakeholders reported incidents of deliberate spitting or coughing by members of the public. Sainsbury’s told us about a number of physical assaults in which offenders “claimed to have COVID-19” and spat or coughed on workers who were trying to enforce Government guidelines.74 Tesco told us that the “horrific trend” in offenders spitting made it necessary for them to invest in “DNA spit kits” to provide evidence to help police identify offenders.75 Another British Retail Consortium member provided all its in-store security staff with “plastic shield face coverings” due to the number of threats and actual cases of coughing and spitting.76 On 27 May 2021, the Sentencing Council published new guidelines for sentencing common assault which include “a new aggravating factor of ‘deliberate spitting or coughing’ in the common assault and assault causing Actual Bodily Harm offences.” The guidelines will come into effect on 1 July 2021.77
“I was threatened with a customer spitting in my face if I didn’t get him an item.”
“We had a shoplifter threaten to give us the Covid19 by spitting on our faces.”
“A member of staff has had a customer threaten to spit in their face for being asked to follow the one-way system.”
Source: Usdaw Coronavirus impact survey
35.We also heard a lack of clarity regarding the rules contributed to difficulties experienced by shopworkers during the pandemic. James Lowman told us “different customers have different interpretations or different views and confront one another about their compliance with social distancing and face coverings” which means his colleagues are spending a lot of their time “refereeing challenges between customers”. He asked that for any future changes to restrictions the Government provide “real clarity” about the rules: otherwise, he said, it will be retailers who are “having to try to interpret them” and to deal with customers who have a different view.78
36.It is unconscionable that violence and abuse towards retail workers has further increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. These are individuals who have been working on the frontline and have put their lives at risk to ensure that the public could access essential items such as food and medicine. At a time when they have most deserved our respect and gratitude they have instead faced violence and abuse.
37.We welcome the revised guidance from the Sentencing Council which makes the despicable act of deliberate spitting or coughing an aggravating factor for common assault. However, we note that incidents of offenders threatening to spit or cough would not be covered by its terms and regret that the sentencing guidelines took over a year from the start of the Covid crisis to be introduced.
38.A lack of clarity with regards to Government guidelines on mask wearing and social distancing exacerbated an already difficult situation for retailers in the early days of the pandemic. If in future new public health restrictions are required the Government must learn the lessons from this pandemic, and work with retailers to ensure there are workable systems in place and clear guidance for the public.
1 Crime Survey, British Retail Consortium, May 2021
2 In terms of Gross Value Added (GVA). ONS, GDP low level aggregates data, 31 March 2021 (Gross value added, current prices, series KK7F, KKP5)
3 ONS and NISRA, Business register and employment survey, 2019
4 Businesses: BEIS, Business population estimates 2020 (data as of 1 January 2020).
5 Crime Report 2021, Association of Convenience Stores
7 Co-op Group (VTR0027)
10 Marks & Spencer (VTR0029)
11 WM Morrison Supermarkets PLC (VTR0028)
12 Sainsbury’s (VTR0019)
13 The survey was paused for 2019 while a review was undertaken to consider whether changes were needed to better meet user needs. Following feedback from stakeholders, the survey was scheduled for September 2020 but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey is expected to start interviews with businesses in the first half of 2021; Home Office, ‘Crime against businesses statistics’, 13 October 2020
14 2018 Commercial Victimisation Survey [latest available data], Home Office, September 2019
15 Call for evidence – Violence and Abuse Toward Shop Staff, Home Office April 2019
16 Government Response – Violence and Abuse Toward Shop Staff, Home Office, April 2019
17 Home Office (VTR0035)
19 Speech to the Annual Retail Fraud Conference, Home Office, 14 April 2011
20 A Smarter Approach to Sentencing, 16 September 2020
22 Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (VTR0032), Anonymous (VTR0008), Boots (VTR0026), National Federation of Retail Newsagents (VTR0020)
23 Dixons Carphone (VTR0012), Anonymous (VTR0025), Wickes (VTR0010), WM Morrison Supermarkets PLC (VTR0028), Nationwide Building Society (VTR0024), National Federation of Retail Newsagents (VTR0020), USDAW (VTR0016)
24 Crime Survey, British Retail Consortium, May 2021
25 Sainsbury’s (VTR0019)
26 Dixons Carphone (VTR0012)
27 Pets at Home Plc (VTR0009)
29 Pets at Home Plc (VTR0009), Anonymous (VTR0017), USDAW (VTR0016)
31 British Retail Consortium (VTR0015)
32 Dr Emmeline Taylor, ‘It’s not part of the job’: Violence and verbal abuse towards shop workers: A review of evidence and policy, September 2019
33 Call for evidence – Violence and Abuse Toward Shop Staff, Home Office, April 2019
34 Crime Report 2021, Association of Convenience Stores
35 Crime Survey, British Retail Consortium, May 2021
37 British Retail Consortium (VTR0015)
38 WM Morrison Supermarkets PLC (VTR0028)
42 Dr Emmeline Taylor, ‘It’s not part of the job’: Violence and verbal abuse towards shop workers: A review of evidence and policy, September 2019
49 Dr Emmeline Taylor, ‘It’s not part of the job’: Violence and verbal abuse towards shop workers: A review of evidence and policy, September 2019
52 Crime Report 2021, Association of Convenience Stores
53 Co-op Group (VTR0027)
54 USDAW, Campaign to end violence and abuse towards retail workers, Survey Results 2020,
55 Crime Survey, British Retail Consortium, May 2021
59 Dunelm Soft Furnishings (VTR0001)
60 National Federation of Retail Newsagents (VTR0020)
61 Marks & Spencer (VTR0029)
62 Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Desperate for a Fix: Using shop theft and a Second Chance Programme to get tough on the causes of prolific drug-addicted offending, June 2018
63 Co-op Group (VTR0027), Covid-19 is now a bigger flashpoint for abuse of shopworkers than shoplifting and age ID an Usdaw survey finds, USDAW, 23 September 2020
64 Co-op Group (VTR0027), Three-quarters of retail staff say abuse has been worse during the pandemic, USDAW, 16 November 2020
68 Marks & Spencer (VTR0029)
69 Pets at Home Plc (VTR0009)
70 UK Finance (VTR0037)
71 Nationwide Building Society (VTR0024)
73 Central England Co-operative (VTR0014)
74 Sainsbury’s (VTR0019)
76 British Retail Consortium (VTR0015)
77 Sentencing Council, New guidelines for sentencing common assault and attempted murder published, 27 May 2021
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