Retail Trade: Crimes of Violence

Home Office written question – answered on 20 September 2023.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to tackle (a) verbal and (b) physical abuse of shopkeepers and retail staff.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Minister of State, Home Department

Violent and abusive behaviour towards any worker, particularly those who provide a valuable service to the public, is never acceptable and the Government takes this issue very seriously.

We have introduced a statutory aggravating factor for assault against those who are serving the public, via the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022. This sends a very clear signal about the unacceptability of assaults against public-facing workers.

I recently met colleagues from the retail sector and the police to discuss retail crime; and how we can take action together to tackle this important issue. Police forces across England and Wales have committed to pursuing any available evidence where there is a reasonable chance it could lead them to catching a perpetrator and solving a crime – and this includes verbal and physical abuse towards retail workers.

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