A new probe revealed 41% of shop staff are abused, threatened or assaulted every week – up from 34% last year – with 42% considering quitting
Attacks on retail staff are rising sharply and 47% say they feel unsafe at work, research shows. The probe revealed 41% of shop staff are abused, threatened or assaulted every week. This figure is up from 34% last year.
The new research also shows 42% are considering quitting their job or retail altogether.
Chris Brook-Carter, chief of the Retail Trust charity, which was behind the probe, said: “Every day we’re hearing from people who have been shouted at, spat on, threatened or hit at work, sometimes several times a week.
“One person told us they were hit around the head by a shoplifter with a metal basket, another was knocked out cold by an angry customer, and this is on top of the vile insults and threats.
“As a country, we must get better at bringing an end to this terrible behaviour.” The survey of 1,600 retail staff also found that 64% said confronting a shoplifter had caused the abuse.
Experienced store manager Julie, 61, from Hampshire, said she has never known it so bad.
She added: “In town, there are groups of between eight and 14 teens who come in every day and cause havoc.
“I was threatened by a guy five months ago who said, ‘I will flob down your throat then kill you’.
“That was because he was trying to return an item he had stolen 15 minutes previously for cash. We have incidents like this two to five times every day.”
Store manager Moses Orogun, 42, quit a supermarket for a department store as it has more security guards. He said: “It was a decision I made while waiting for stitches in my forehead after a banned shoplifter attacked me.”
The Retail Trust, which provides counselling, is urging staff to flag incidents as 25% admit they do not report abuse.
The charity has launched its Respect Retail campaign calling on staff to be treated properly in the run-up to Christmas.
While, retail workers’ union Usdaw’s Respect for Shop Workers Week, starts today.
The Mirror is running a Clamp Down on Shoplifting campaign.
Britain’s shoplifting epidemic has cost retailers a reported £953million in the past year.