Retail union issues advice on cutting Christmas crime

Retail
union Usdaw is offering advice on how to stay safe at work during the Christmas
period.

As
part of its Freedom From Fear campaign, which aims to reduce incidents of
violence and abuse against shopworkers, special information packs have been
sent to more than 7,000 union representatives across the UK.

Usdaw’s
deputy general secretary, John Hannett said: “Our members work harder than ever
during the festive period, but so do the organised gangs of shoplifters and
opportunist thieves, who try to cash in under-cover of crowded shops while
staff are over-stretched.

“We
want retail companies and staff to be extra vigilant during this highly
pressurised time. Incidents of violence and abuse went up last year to 20,000
and 28,000 incidents respectively. No-one should have to put up with that
during their working day.”

Hannett
also called for customers to remain calm while rushing to buy last minute
gifts.

“Our
own research has shown that everyday problems such as long queues, stock
shortages and crowded shops can trigger aggressive behaviour among customers,
who often take out their frustration on shopworkers.

"This
is unacceptable and I appeal to the shopping public to show respect to
shopworkers, whatever the cause of their frustration.”

The
Freedom From Fear pack includes advice on:


How to assess and minimise risk in the workplace


What to do in potentially threatening or dangerous situations


What you should do if you are the victim of an attack or abuse


How members can get involved in the Freedom From Fear campaign

www.usdaw.org.uk

By Quentin Reade

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