More action needed to tackle retail crime and end shopworker abuse, says Alice Macdonald, Norwich North general election candidate

Alice Macdonald, Labour and Co-operative Parliamentary candidate for Norwich North, yesterday visited the Chartwell Rd, Central Co-op Food store in Norwich and called on the Conservative Government to do more to tackle retail crime and end shopworker abuse.

According to the Co-op Group, shoplifting, assaults, and anti-social behaviour have soared over the last year. The Co-op Group alone says they experienced around  1,000 cases a day in its stores across the country in the six months to June. 

Alice Macdonald said: 

“It was good to meet staff from the Central Co-op  today but awful to hear about some of their experiences. Retail crime is clearly having a shocking impact. No one should feel unsafe going to work.  We need the Government to act to keep our streets safe and protect shopworkers. 

 “Labour is calling for stronger action against abuse of shop workers including on sentencing. We will also restore neighbourhood policing and town centre patrols with 13,000 more officers and Police Community Support Officers.”

With reports that retail staff are being provided with body cameras to help combat the rise in crime, Alice Macdonald is also  today backing the call by the Union for Retailers, (USDAW) to provide better protection for all shopworkers. 

Adam Waudby, Head of Retail Operations, Central Co-op

“We’ve seen that violent crime, where store colleagues have been assaulted is up 57% year on year.  Verbal abuse, threats and intimidation are up 43% year on year.  Ensuring our colleagues return home safely each day is our highest priority and we continue to invest in measures to protect them, however, we also need the police to prioritise these offences and improve their response to incidents. 

The police’s own data shows they did not attend in 73% of incidents reported by to them by British Retail Consortium members. We want to work together with the police and local leadership with a clear purpose as this is a key area for improvement.

We’re not talking about victimless crimes here, we see the lasting impact of these terrible incidents on our colleagues, Members and customers so we’re committed to working with the Government and local law enforcement to bring about meaningful change.”