Leicestershire Labour and Co-operative candidates Councillor Amanda Hack and Rory Palmer are calling for crucial changes to the law to tackle ‘shocking’ violence against shopworkers and rising retail crime.

Cllr Hack, parliamentary candidate in North West Leicestershire and Rory Palmer, Police and Crime Commissioner candidate in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are calling for a new standalone offence for violence against retail workers alongside the removal of the £200 limit on shoplifting investigations. These changes would give the police the tools they need to charge and convict both organised gangs and individuals who perpetrate abuse.

According to the British Retail Consortium, there has been a 50% increase in levels of retail violence and abuse last year, with over 45,000 incidents of retail crime every single day in stores across the UK.

In the first six months of 2023, Co-op stores reported around 1,000 incidents a day of retail crime. That represents an increase of 35% on the previous year which is an unprecedented rise.  Most incidents of serious retail crime were not responded to by police, even in cases where shopworkers were seriously assaulted.

Despite calls from the retail sector as well as the Labour and Co-op Parties, the Conservative government has failed to take action to support shopworkers.

Cllr Hack and Rory Palmer together with Alex Norris, MP for Nottingham North and Shadow Minister for Policing, have been visiting Co-operative stores in Leicestershire to talk to workers about the dramatic increase in shoplifting and aggressive behaviour.

Cllr Amanda Hack said:

“I’ve been meeting retail workers in North West Leicestershire and it is shocking to hear about the violence and intimidation they face at work. There has been an investment of headsets and body cameras for Co-op colleagues to help keep them safe however it’s clear that they need more support. That is why Labour is backing the calls from the retail sector to designate retail theft as a specific crime. The Conservative government is choosing to ignore this serious issue affecting our communities. It’s time to make protecting shopworkers a priority.”

Rory Palmer said:

“I am hearing every week from retail workers worried and frightened by shoplifting incidents, aggression, threats and violence. It is completely unacceptable that this has been allowed to happen. I have heard about terrible incidents, that will have a long lasting effect on the victims. Retail workers helped get our communities through the pandemic, they deserve our support and they deserve to be safe at work. We need a new standalone offence of abuse against shopworkers to strengthen the legal response to this retail crime epidemic; it’s shocking that Conservative MPs have voted against this.

“I have visited Co-op stores and other shops right across Leicestershire, and it’s sadly a familiar story. It should never have been allowed to get to this stage. Shopworkers should not be frightened going to work. If I am elected Police and Crime Commissioner in May, I will be bringing forward new action plans to tackle retail crime in every village, town and retail area in Leicestershire. These new action plans will be in place within a month of me taking office. Local businesses and their staff need to know I will be on their side; I am determined that we make our streets safe for everyone.”

Alex Norris MP said:

“Shopworkers have been telling us for far too long that they are facing unacceptable levels of violence and abuse, but they are being let down by a government that cannot keep the streets safe. Shopworkers deserve dignity and respect. While the Tories take a back seat, Labour will introduce a new offence of abuse against shop workers so we can put an end to violence, threats, and abuse at work.”

Link to Instagram Link to Twitter Link to YouTube Link to Facebook Link to LinkedIn Link to Snapchat Close Fax Website Location Phone Email Calendar Building Search