Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin has thrown her weight behind a campaign to protect shop workers from abuse and violent attacks at work during a visit to a local Co-op store.

Ms Brabin visited the Westfield Lane store in Scholes where she discussed local community safety issues with staff and learnt about the retailer’s operational programme to help tackle crime.

The visit was part of the Respect for Shop Workers Week campaign, launched by the union Usdaw, which aims to raise awareness of the shocking rise in attacks on shop workers.

Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin said: “Shop workers now face an unprecedented level of threat from violent incidents, abuse and intimidation and this can have repercussions throughout a community.

“Sadly we have seen a number of such attacks across Batley and Spen this year and the impact on those working on the frontline is devastating and long-lasting.

“So it’s reassuring to see the Co-op are introducing measures to help tackle crime across their stores and are working closely with other businesses and the wider community.

“No one should have to go to work in fear.”

New research commissioned by the union revealed that every minute of the working day another shop worker is verbally abused, threatened with violence or physically attacked.

Paul Gerrard, Director of Campaigns at the Co-op, said: “Retail crime is often considered to be victimless as people think it only involves a faceless business losing stock or money.

“However, it is not the shop that is left bruised, bleeding or traumatised. This type of crime has nothing to do with profit and everything to do with people.

“In the months ahead, we’ll be looking to work with local community groups and other neighbourhood leaders who are engaged in tackling the root causes of crime, to see if we can identify mutual solutions to shared concerns.”

As part of the campaign Usdaw are also engaging with shoppers throughout the country to remind them that there is no excuse for abuse or violence towards workers.

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