In the past few days, physical assaults on Tesco employees have increased by a third, prompting Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy to suggest a change in the law.
As there has been a drastic increase in “unacceptable” verbal and physical assaults on the employees, the top management has offered its frontline employees body cameras.
Mr. Murphy stated in a letter that the attacks, although “small in number, but have a disproportionate impact” on staff.
In the last four years, Tesco has ramped up its security measures, including protection screens, door access systems, digital radios, and cameras, to the tune of $44 million, Mr. Murphy commented.
“Money spent on making sure people are safe at work is always well spent,” he stated.
“But it should not have to be like this. Crime is a scourge on society and an insult to shoppers and retail workers.”
Further stating it is “time we put an end to it”, the retail boss labeled the rise in incidents as “unacceptable” and condemned the impact on workers.
He also suggested changing the law to ensure that those who abuse or have a violent tendency towards retail workers are charged with an offense across the UK, saying, “We cannot go on like this.”
“I want those who break the law in our stores brought to book,” he continued.
“After a long campaign by retailers and the union Usdaw, last year the government made attacking shop workers an aggravating factor in convictions – meaning offenders should get longer sentences.
“Judges should make use of this power. But we need to go further, as in Scotland, and make abuse or violence towards retail workers an offense in itself.”
Mr. Murphy has also suggested that the police forces work with the businesses to establish better links and that businesses be given the right to know regarding the processing of the case when someone has committed a crime in one of their stores.
“This would help us to spot patterns and provide reassurance that justice is being done,” he said.
Tesco has joined the ranks of Co-op, Waitrose, and Sainsbury’s, which took action to protect their staff by issuing a body camera for their safety two years ago.
The British Retail Consortium revealed data in March suggesting that attacks on staff, such as racial slurs, sexual and physical assaults, and threats by brandishing weapons, have increased to 850 a day, which is more than double the pre-COVID levels of 450 incidents a day.
Last summer, more than 100 retail bosses wrote to 41 police and crime commissioners in England and Wales, suggesting that they reconsider crimes in retail and make a change in local policing tactics.
- Published By Team Timeswire