Offence of threatening with an offensive weapon etc in a private place

Part of Offensive Weapons Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:30 pm on 28th November 2018.

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Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Labour, Delyn 4:30 pm, 28th November 2018

Indeed. My new clause—if adopted, or if the Minister looks at this as part of age-related sales—would give additional protection to shop workers who are upholding the legislation that this Government have introduced.

The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, of which I am a proud member and which—I declare an interest—gives some support to my constituency party, supports my new clause. The Co-op party, the co-op movement, the Association of Convenience Stores, the British Retail Consortium and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents all support the new clause publicly and visibly because they recognise that they have a duty of care to their staff.

This matters because, in the past 10 years, we have seen a rise in the incidence of assaults on and threatening behaviour towards retail staff. An USDAW survey showed last year that 66% of staff have reported verbal abuse, and the number who reported threats of physical violence increased to 42% in the past year alone.