By Jo Whitfield, Food CEO and Chris Whitfield, Chief Operating Officer, Retail
We’ve been running our Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaign since 2018. As well as investing in technology, equipment and training to keep our colleagues safe and investing in community projects that address the root causes of crime, we’ve been talking to MPs and Government to ensure they understand why the issue of violence against shop workers must be taken seriously.
Since then, so many of our amazing colleagues have been involved in writing to MPs, engaging with them in our shops and sharing our stories with the media.
A key part of our campaign has been to get greater protection in law for shopworkers. Getting new legislation in place in never an easy task and it takes time to get people on side and to find opportunities to make it happen.
Why we’re calling for greater protection for shopworkers
Simply, it’s not part of your job to put up with violence and abuse from customers. There needs to be a reset in society and a very clear message sent that it’s not part of the job.
We’re also given responsibilities to uphold the law on a range of products (like alcohol, tobacco, medication and energy drinks) which Parliament says can only be sold to people above a certain age. That means we’re performing a public service and should be given extra protection to carry out these public duties.
The police must then be given the resources to implement this new legislation.
What we need you to do
There is a new piece of legislation being proposed called the Police, Crime and Sentencing Courts Bill. In this bill, it sets out an ‘increase in penalty for assault on emergency worker’. If someone is found guilty of this, the conviction increases from 12 months to 2 years. We want the same protection for shopworkers. We now have an opportunity to ask our elected representatives, our Members of Parliament to support our ask. We’ve had some brilliant success from writing letters to MPs in this campaign and we want to do the same again.
You can send a letter or an email, just click here to follow the simple instructions. It should only take two minutes but will make a huge difference for our colleagues.