Scottish Daily Mail

300 cases of retail abuse in 3 months


ALMOST 300 cases of abuse against shop workers in Scotland were reported to police in the three months after a law was introduced to protect them.

Figures from the Scottish Business Resilience Centre show 285 incidents of abuse or threats were reported to police by the end of November 2021.

The Protection of Workers Act came into force in August last year, making it a specific offence to threaten or abuse retail staff.

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation, which represents the convenienc­e store sector, is running a campaign against retail crime called Don’t Put Up With It.

Dr John Lee, the organisati­on’s head of policy, said: ‘It’s unacceptab­le for anyone to threaten or abuse Scotland’s retail workers. Those responsibl­e will be punished.

‘While every incident is one too many, the statistics show that the Protection of Workers Act is effective, is much needed, and that store owners and their staff are unafraid to use it. It’s reassuring to see how seriously Police Scotland are treating the complaints.’

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation said age checks were a significan­t trigger for staff being abused. Dr Lee added: ‘Everyone has the right to feel safe at work. Far too many retail workers, however, are left terrified by the trouble they are forced to deal with.’

A government spokesman said: ‘The Scottish Government fully supports law enforcemen­t agencies having extensive powers to deal with attacks and threats made against retail workers.’

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