“Zero-tolerance approach to shop staff abuse needed” – Retail NI

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Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

Retail NI has called for a zero-tolerance approach to verbal and physical abuse of shop workers.


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They also and called for stiffer penalties for those who assault retail staff.



The business group’s call comes as shop workers trade union USDAW revealed that abuse of staff has doubled during the pandemic.

Speaking to Newry Times, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said, “We completely agree with USDAW that the physical and verbal abuse of shopworkers has dramatically increased during the pandemic.

“At the height of COVID-19, many retail workers put their own health at risk to ensure food and other vital products were available for the people of Northern Ireland.

“Sadly, we have picked up further instances of abuse of shop staff in the last week since the mandatory wearing of face coverings was introduced,” he explained.



“Physical and verbal abuse of shopworkers is totally unacceptable.

“We fully support tougher penalties or indeed sentencing for those guilty of such behaviour.


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“We need a zero-tolerance approach to such abuse,” he insisted.

“Retail NI has recently raised this issue with Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd.

“We are also seeking a meeting with Justice Minister Naomi Long to discuss tougher sentences for those guilty of assaulting staff.



“I want to make another appeal to shoppers to show respect, courtesy and understanding of the difficult job that retail staff are doing during this pandemic.”

Glyn added, “Please, just be kind to retail workers.”


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