New research from City University of London calling for greater action from the Government to tackle violence against shopworkers has been welcomed by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).

The research, which was commissioned by the Co-op, references the ACS Crime Report, which shows that there were almost 10,000 incidents of violence against shopworkers in the convenience sector last year, 40% resulting in injury of staff.

The report calls for:

• a post implementation review of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act;

• new legislation to introduce tougher penalties for attacks on retail workers;

• drug testing on arrests for shop theft and violence against shopworkers.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “This is an important report that highlights the need for a holistic approach to tackling violence and crime in the retail sector. The top trigger for violence and abuse of shopworkers is dealing with shop thieves, yet shop theft offences are often screened out through cautions or fines that don’t tackle the root cause of offending.

“The Government’s commitment to 20,000 more police officers is a step in the right direction, but we also need reform of the justice system and a better system for reporting offences to the police.”