By Jo Whitfield, Food CEO

Last week, I wrote to all of our colleagues and members to ask them to write to local MPs across the country to support an amendment to the Police, Crime and Sentencing Courts Bill. 

Today, along with 32 major retailers, I have written to Boris Johnson, Prime Minister urging him to back an amendment to this Government bill to give greater protection to over three million shopworkers across the country. 

You can read our letter here.

Today we’re also launching a new report ‘Breaking the Cycle’ which gets the views of criminal justice practitioners on effective sentencing. Written by Dr Emmeline Taylor and funded through the Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaign, it provides clear opportunities to legislate to protect shopworkers. We’ll be sharing this later today with the Home Office, local MPs and other retailers. 

Violence, abuse and anti-social behaviour towards shopworkers is unacceptable, and it’s clear from our conversations that there is appetite to bring forward new clauses to the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Bill which would provide the protection that frontline shopworkers need and, deserve. 

Stiffer sentencing will send out a clear message that criminal behaviour in our communities will not be tolerated by society. More importantly, it lets shopworkers – who have gone to amazing lengths to feed and care for communities throughout the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic – know that they are being listened to and taken seriously. 

Assaults and abuse should not be part of the job, and by standing together, I am confident we can change the Government’s mind and bring about greater protection for shopworkers in all our communities. If you’ve not yet written your letter or sent an email to your local MP, you can do so by following these simple instructions.

Feel free to head over to Social Hub to share our post with your friends, family and social media followers, so they’re aware of the work we’re doing because violence is not part of the job!