The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) is supporting USDAW’s Respect for Shopworkers Week, highlighting the need for urgent action to tackle violence and abuse towards shopworkers.

Taking place between 11-17 November, this year’s theme is ‘Keep Your Cool’, reminding the public that there is never an excuse for violent or abusive behaviour.

The campaign follows shortly after a Home Office call for evidence on violence and abuse toward shop staff, which received more than 800 responses from individual shopworkers, small shopkeepers, unions and business organisations.

During a parliamentary debate on retail crime, Home Office minister Kit Malthouse MP noted that initial analysis of responses to the call for evidence found that there is a “widespread belief that the problem is increasing”.

ACS wrote to the minister ahead of the debate calling for an urgent response to the call for evidence, highlighting that there have been an estimated 200,000 assaults and threats of people working in retail and wholesale sector since the Home Office’s call for evidence closed.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We are pleased to support Respect for Shopworkers Week as it reinforces the crucial message to the public that violent and abusive behaviour towards shopworkers is completely unacceptable.

“Retailers continue to invest in crime prevention measures in their stores to protect their staff and customers, but we cannot tackle violence and abuse in our sector without support from the Government.”