Research commissioned by the NFRN, Under Age Sales and the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) uncovered a staggering level of abuse shopworkers face every day. New research revealed that almost 6,000 convenience store workers experience verbal or physical abuse on a daily basis as a result of asking customers for ID to purchase age restricted products.

NFRN continues to meet with the Government and Police in raising awareness of the scale of violence and abuse retailers face. Shop workers want more to be done and better protection from the threat of violence. The NFRN continues to call for increased engagement between the police and retailers, and to encourage reporting of incidents and better resolutions. Despite a significant increase in violence and abuse reporting across the United Kingdom, a very significant amount of verbal, physical and racial abuse occurring in retail premises every day goes unreported.

Examples of experiences independent retailers face:

  • “I was punched on the side of the head for refusing alcohol due to not having ID, while the attacker’s friends laughed and cheered him on. I pulled the shutters down and locked them in until police arrived – I didn’t know what else to do.”
  • “I was once attacked by a boy and two girls for refusing a sale. They dragged me outside, and punched and kicked me. The boy received a verbal warning, lasting just two months.”
  • “In the last two years, I’ve been physically attacked twice as a result of refusing to serve someone without ID. On one occasion, they leaned over the counter, grabbed me and shouted in my face. On the other occasion, someone took the shopping out of their basket, item by item, and threw each one at me.”
  • “I’ve had stock thrown at me over the counter which has resulted in damaged goods. We’ve also had numerous display stands replaced because they’ve been thrown across the room.”
  • “I have been spat at and verbally abused countless time, just for refusing a sale.”
  • “Receiving abuse after asking for ID is a weekly occurrence for me. I’m very often told they will be waiting for me outside when I finish my shift, which is very intimidating. I feel more sorry for my staff having to put up with the abuse. We are only doing our job and the implications of failing to get it right can cost us our jobs.”

A petition has been created calling for the Government to support the Uk retailers who are attacking for requesting ID. To sign the petition and help protect retailers from the threat and harm and physical violence, please sign here.

NFRN Chief Executive Paul Baxter says: “With retail crime incidents soaring, more has to be done by the police and government before even more retailers are driven out of business. We look forward to working together with Under Age Sales Ltd and Usdaw to raise awareness of the scale of violence and abuse retailers face and the working on a solution. We will continue to lobby police and crime commissioners to act so that retail crime victims have confidence to come forward and report incidents to their local police in the knowledge that action will be taken.”

Click here to see the report

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