The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) is supporting a petition from shopworkers union Usdaw calling on the Government to introduce legislation to protect shopworkers from violence and abuse.


ACS chief executive James Lowman

The petition ‘Protect Retail Workers from Abuse, Threats and Violence’, urges the Government to introduce legislation to create a specific offence for abusing, threatening, or assaulting a retail worker.

Findings from ACS’ 2020 Crime Report show that 83% of people who work in the convenience sector have been subjected to verbal abuse over the last year and there were over 50,000 incidents of violence estimated in the sector, with 25% of incidents resulting in injury.

The ACS Covid-19 Impact Survey revealed that violence and verbal abuse has increased in 40% of stores since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Local shops are a lifeline for the communities that they serve, and this has been particularly evident during the Covid-19 crisis where our colleagues have worked tirelessly to ensure that they can continue to feed their customers.

“It is unacceptable that our members and their colleagues are facing violence and abuse while trying to do their job. These incidents are devastating for the colleagues affected.

“Enough is enough. We need the Government to take effective and urgent action to protect shop workers and send a clear message to perpetrators that violent and abusive behaviour will not be tolerated.”

For more information or to sign the petition, visit