A new survey, has found that on average retail staff workers are abused, threatened or assaulted on average 21 times a year.
A survey of over 4,000 retail staff by shop workers’ union Usdaw, found that around two-thirds have experienced verbal abuse, while 41% were threatened by a customer and nearly 5% were assaulted.
The trade union has been campaigning to stop abusive behaviour towards retail staff for a number of years and in June called on the government to tackle the problem .
There is serious concern from shop workers about the lack of respect, abuse and threats.
Where incidents used to occur occasionally, now there is abuse from customers on a weekly basis. Difficulties occur when dealing with young people who are underage but seeking to purchase alcohol or cigarettes, this can be a problem.
Employees have been spat at for refusing to hand over parcels from the post office counter without proof of ID. Teenagers have been known to bring the fights into the shop causing serious injury and damage.
Retailers are asking the government to make changes so retail staff can feel safe while they are at work.
They want signs up in stores telling customers to respect staff, more police on patrol and to impose a lifetime ban on customers who persistently abuse shop workers.
Security guards can help to prevent this type of abuse with short term targeted guarding or by providing mobile security response.