To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the letter to the Rt. Hon. Member for Delyn, dated 21 January 2019 and deposited in the library, what the planned timescale is for the (a) completion of draft questions, (b) evidence gathering exercise, (c) closing date and (d) Government's response to the call for evidence on attacks against retail employees.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the letter to the Rt. Hon. Member for Delyn, dated 21 January 2019 and deposited in the library, what steps his Department is planning to take to deliver the targeted communications activity to raise awareness of the existing legislation that covers assaults against an individual when working in a retail environment; and what the budget is for that communications activity.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the letter to the Rt. Hon. Member for Delyn, dated 21 January 2019 and deposited in the Library, what the (a) outcomes were and (b) response was to the letter to the Commissioner of the City of London Police on retail crime and attacks on retail employees.
We are committed to tackling violence and abuse toward shop workers; everyone has the right to feel safe at work.
On 21 January I announced that we will launch a call for evidence to strengthen our understanding of this issue. We will launch this shortly, before the Offensive Weapons Bill completes its passage through Parliament. We will ensure that interested parties have sufficient time to respond and that the analysis and subsequent Government response is taken forward promptly.
To support this, we are providing £50,000 for a sector-led communications campaign to raise awareness of this issue. We are finalising plans for this campaign and will announce further details shortly.
On 12 February I chaired a meeting of the National Retail Crime Steering Group (NRCSG) which focused exclusively on this issue. Agenda items included a discussion on the scope and direction of the call for evidence, and the NRCSG’s workplan on tackling violence and abuse, including in relation to the police response. My response to the Rt Hon member’s letter of 22 January was sent on 12th March 2019 and sets out plans for this work in more detail. A copy of this letter has been placed in the House library.