Mayor Dan Norris has asked the Home Secretary to outlaw attacks on shopworkers. The Mayor has teamed up with Usdaw, a trade union that supports shopworkers, and the Co-op in joining calls for ministers to end the violence against shopworker “scandal” as he backed a special week of action. Shopworkers at one Bristol Co-op told the regional Mayor about the torrents of abuse they face on a daily basis for just doing their jobs as part of "Respect for Shopworkers Week". Before the Mayor's visit, the Henbury Co-op even had a shoplifter raid the store before driving off in the newspaper delivery man’s van. Mr Norris says many of the shopworkers he speaks to have been physically assaulted and fear that they may face a serious injury, while two in five nationwide say they face weekly abuse including being shouted at, spat on or hit by angry customers and shoplifters, according to a survey this week from the Retail Trust charity. Dan Norris said ministers need to play their part as backed calls for a new standalone offence of assaulting a shopworker. He said: "Shopworkers are right now preparing for their busiest time of the year as we head towards Christmas. "It is frankly appalling that some people think it is acceptable to abuse and assault shopworkers and shopkeepers - the fabric of our great West of England region. Violence against these vital workers has risen to a disturbing 850 incidents - every single day, according to the British Retail Consortium. That, frankly, is a scandal.
“It’s time for ministers to play their part in fixing this crisis once and for all. That means coming down hard on those who assault hard-working shopworkers just doing their jobs.”
The Mayor added that the incident in the morning with the shoplifter in Henbury showed the crime epidemic sweeping the region and the country was "getting out of control" as he called for action.
Respect for Shopworkers Week is designed to support retail workers and ensure the general public understands the key message that abuse is not part of the job.
Other violent crimes against shop workers had been committed in the city prior to the Henbury shoplifting. Josh James, of no fixed address, was sentenced to eight years imprisonment at Bristol Crown Court on Friday 30 June after pleading guilty to 18 offences - including the attack on a shop worker seen in the video below.