The Government has launched a call for evidence to tackle violence and abuse against shop staff.

The call is open for 12 weeks and asks organisations and individuals to contribute to the Government’s understanding of the problem.

The most recent Home Office Commercial Victimisation Survey estimated that in 2017 there were about 510,000 incidents of assaults and threats against workers from the wholesale and retail sector, more than twice the number recorded in 2016.

Minister for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability, Victoria Atkins, said: “Shop staff play an important role in our communities, and it is clearly unacceptable that they should experience violent or abusive behaviour. Everyone has the right to feel safe at work and I know these crimes can have a significant impact on victims as well as retailers, customers and the wider community. I’d encourage anyone who has been affected to share their experience to help shape our response to this issue.”

The call for evidence seeks data relating to violence and abuse toward shop workers, including the extent to which incidents are linked to age-restricted sales of products such as cigarettes and alcohol.

It also asks for feedback on prevention and support, enforcement and the criminal justice system. This includes the effectiveness of the law and any barriers to reporting these crimes.

To find out how to respond, click here.