Retail Crime — [Mr Laurence Robertson in the Chair]

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 1:30 pm on 11th April 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons) 1:30 pm, 11th April 2019

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on securing this debate. I know how much he cares about this issue. Many Members will know that, in a previous life, I was a trainee butcher in Tesco for many years. That is where I did all my butchery training. On low-level abuse, one of the things that is not highlighted enough is that this is not just about robbery or abuse; it is also about the customers who come into the store. I remember vividly when I worked on counters that if we did not have a particular type of stock, the customers would feel free to scream abuse at us. There was no response to that; we simply had to take it. I now know that lots of retailers are developing safety training to counter the abuse that staff face and training on how to deal with aggressive customers. It is a sign of the times that more and more staff face abuse because people are having a bad day and cannot get the goods that they want. That cannot be allowed to carry on, particularly given that those people provide key services and are there to do a job. I have friends who still work in the industry and feel that they cannot stay because of the abuse that they receive.