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Home Office to set up meeting to discuss violence against retail workers

Victoria Atkins, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, has agreed to attend a meeting with key partners from the world of retail and trade unions to discuss violence against retailers and shopworkers.

The meeting announcement followed amendments tabled to the Offensive Weapons Bill by David Hanson MP. The amendments proposed tougher sanctions for attacks on shopworkers who are “intentially obstructed” in excerising their duties. Their duties including enforcing age restrictions on certain products.

Victoria Atkins maintained “shopworkers [should] feel protected, as well as being protected, by the law.”

David Hanson MP added that he “hope[s to make] progress on this key issue that impacts on the lives of so many retail staff, this issue is not going away.”

The ammendments have been meet with applause from trade bodies like ACS and BRC, the shopworkers union Usdaw, the Co-op party and the Co-op Group.

Paddy Lillis, general secretary of Usdaw stated that “we need a better balance in the law. The existing offence of common assault is not enough, because it is rarely used and difficult to prove in cases of verbal abuse and threats.”

Kylie Wroe