Retail trade bodies and unions have co-signed a letter to the new Chief Constable of Police Scotland calling for urgent action to protect shopworkers.
Scottish Retail Consortium, the Scottish Grocers’ Federation, Usdaw, the Scottish Co-Op Party, and GMB Scotland co-signed the letter that was organised by the Scottish Labour MSP Daniel Johnson who introduced the Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Act 2021.
The letter highlights that there have been almost 8,000 reported cases of shopworker abuse or assault since August 2021.
Johnson said: “It is a scandal that so many shopworkers face violence and abuse at work.
“Workers are too often bearing the brunt of retail crime, and the astonishing number of crimes being reported exposes the scale of this crisis.
“The new legal protection offered by my bill was an important step forward, but it must be backed up with a comprehensive plan to prevent these crimes as well as prosecute them.
“Shopworkers must be safe at work and the SNP must ensure the new Chief Constable has the support and resources she needs to make that a reality.”
NFRN’s Scottish president Hussan Lal added: “The fact that shop crime is going up not down confirms that many more measures are needed. The Fed is campaigning for a £1,500 grant towards a security upgrade for small shopkeepers. They struggle to afford the tech which would protect them and help police enquiries.
“Above all, shopkeepers would like to see a policy commitment from the police to treat the shop crime epidemic as a priority.”