shop worker

CRA welcomes government plans to make assaulting a shop worker a specific criminal offence

The Charity Retail Association has welcomed today’s announcement that the UK Government will introduce new legislation to make assaulting a shop worker a standalone criminal offence in England and Wales as part of a ‘retail crime crackdown.’

In a 2023 survey* conducted by the Charity Retail Association with its members on shoplifting and abuse, 59% of respondents said they had experienced an increase in abuse of staff and volunteers over the last 12 months, with an average increase of 33%.

83% of respondents said they had experienced an increase in shoplifting in the past 12 months, with an average increase of 28.5%.

Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association, said: “We know that charity shop staff have been facing an unacceptable increase in aggressive behaviour and shoplifting in recent times, with charity retailers calling for more support from the police to tackle the growing tide of retail crime and related attacks on retail staff.

“Charity shops are finding themselves having to make difficult decisions such as diverting funds away from the causes their parent charities support to pay for additional security measures to try and protect staff. We therefore welcome today’s announcement that tackling retail crime will be given greater priority and the introduction of a new criminal offence to help ensure that those who assault shop staff face prosecution and appropriate sentencing. Ensuring offenders are prosecuted along with targeted steps to prevent reoffending is vital, as a relatively small group of prolific repeat offenders are behind more than half of all retail crime.

“Everyone working in a shop deserves to be treated with respect and this is just as important in the charity retail sector, where charity shop staff and volunteers are vital to raising money for good causes.”

*80 responses, representing 17% of the CRA’s membership

CRA members can find anti-abuse poster templates, kindly provided by CRUK and Thames Hospice, here.

10/04/2024 14:56