FINES TO SHIELD SHOP STAFF

Po­lice refuse to re­lease re­port into rapist who bru­tally at­tacked two women af­ter be­ing freed early from jail

The People - - NEWS FEATURES - By by Nigel Nel­son PO­LIT­I­CAL ED­I­TOR

SHOP staff will need greater pro­tec­tion when they en­force new knife and acid laws, say MPS.

The num­ber of shop work­ers in­jured by an­gry cus­tomers this year has dou­bled since 2017. And MPS fear it will get even worse.

The Govern­ment’s Of­fen­sive Weapons Bill will re­strict sales of acid and outlaw postal sales of knives – so cus­tomers must prove in per­son they are over 18.

To­mor­row ex-labour po­lice min­is­ter David Han­son will push for a new of­fence of threat­en­ing shop staff car­ry­ing £2,500 fines.

Mr Han­son said: “It’s not the po­lice who will en­force these new laws but shop­work­ers.

“And if they are go­ing to be put in the front line then they ought to be pro­tected.”

Po­lice, prison of­fi­cers and NHS work­ers are al­ready recog­nised as spe­cial cases and there are stiffer fines and longer sen­tences for as­saults and threats against them.

Each day 265 re­tail work­ers face vi­o­lence just for do­ing their jobs. On av­er­age six of those in­ci­dents in­volve knives and two guns. Two thirds suf­fer ver­bal abuse, while oth­ers are in­tim­i­dated and threat­ened.

The Bri­tish Re­tail Con­sor­tium says an av­er­age of 13 shop staff were in­jured each day this year, dou­ble the 2017 rate. MP Alex Nor­ris has in­tro­duced a Com­mons mea­sure to make as­saults on re­tail staff ag­gra­vated crimes.

This would cover those at­tacked for re­fus­ing to sell cig­a­rettes and al­co­hol to un­der 18s, or to drunk cus­tomers.

He said: “Re­tail work­ers have been en­trusted with an im­por­tant civic re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“We ask them to po­lice the law on the sale of al­co­hol, glue, knives and now acid.”

OUT­RAGE: Our story EVIL: Ash­ley Shuck

PRO­TEC­TION: David Han­son

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