News Plea For Shop Workers To Be Treated As Public Servants

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Plea for shop workers to be treated as ‘public servants’
19th May 2020

By Karen Pickwick

A major UK retailer has described a rise in violent offences – including people threatening to cough and spit on staff – as ‘totally unacceptable’.

Central England Co-op, which has more than 260 food stores and petrol stations across 16 counties, has been forced to reiterate a plea for its teams to be treated with ‘care, compassion and respect’ after it recorded a rising trend of verbal abuse and threats across the period that the nation has been in lockdown and faced social distancing measures when out shopping for essentials.

Chief executive Debbie Robinson said: “I am a strong campaigner for shop workers to be treated as public servants in the eyes of the law, in cases where they suffer violence or risk from the public.

“I would hope their status in society will now be permanently elevated and I am redoubling my efforts in lobbying for a change in sentencing law to ensure those who choose to attack our colleagues are held accountable for their actions on the same level as other frontline workers.”