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.