Violence and abuse towards retail workers Contents

Annex: Summary of Government actions in response to the call for evidence on violence and abuse towards shop staff

1.The Government will work closely with members of the National Retail Crime Steering Group to further develop the evidence base regarding the role drugs, as well as alcohol and other factors, play in driving violence and abuse towards shop workers (paragraph 45).

2.The Government will work closely with members of the NRCSG over the coming year to better understand the impact of the work they do to address the needs of prolific offenders and, if successful, how it may be replicated elsewhere in the country (paragraph 47).

3.Government will work with the NRCSG to develop communications for both employees and employers to make clear that violence and abuse of shop workers is not tolerated. We will take account of best practice from across different sectors and make use of the NRCSG’s membership to develop and test messaging before supporting any national roll-out (paragraph 49).

4.The Government, working with members of the NRCSG, will develop a best practice guide that aims to support staff in reporting these crimes when they ccur to ensure that a suitable response can be delivered (paragraph 50).

5.The Government will work with the NRCSG and the National Business Crime Centre to look at barriers to effective data sharing between businesses and the police to ensure that information can be used to better understand the problem, including premises selling alcohol not feeling disadvantaged, particularly in relation to tracking prolific offenders (paragraph 51).

6.The Government will work with the NRCSG to understand what may be discouraging business from reporting crimes (paragraph 52).

7.The Crime and Policing Minister will write to all PCCs and Chief Constables highlighting the issue of violence and abuse towards shop staff and asking them to continue to work closely with local businesses to understand the scale of the issue locally and to develop suitable responses to it (paragraph 55).

8.The Crime and Policing Minister will write to PCCs and Chief Constables setting out that the theft of goods valued up to £200 from a shop should be prosecuted as a criminal offence and therefore should not constrain the ability of the police to arrest or prosecute someone in the way they feel is most appropriate (paragraph 58)

9.The Government will also look at the issue of the effectiveness of s176 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing 2014 Act as part of the post-legislative scrutiny of the Act (paragraph 59).

10.The Government will introduce legislation for community penalties that offer an

appropriate level of punishment, so that the public can have confidence in them, while tackling the underlying drivers of offending and addressing issues such as mental health or drug or alcohol addiction (paragraph 61).

11.The Government intends to publish a White Paper ahead of sentencing legislation, which will include proposals for tougher community sentences (paragraph 62).

12.The Crime and Policing Minister will write to all Chief Constables reminding them of the need for their officers to provide victims the chance to use either or both these impact statements (paragraph 64).

13.The Government will consider legislating to ensure that where agencies have failed to provide victims with their entitlements, they are held to account. The law will also strengthen the powers of the Victims’ Commissioner, already a powerful voice for victims (paragraph 66).299

299 Government Response, Call for evidence – Violence and Abuse Toward Shop Staff, July 2020

Published: 29 June 2021 Site information    Accessibility statement