Abuse experienced by shopworkers has risen by a quarter in the past year according to a survey conducted by retail union Usdaw, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers.
In 2016 around two thirds of those working in shops were verbally abused, with 40% claiming that they had been threatened whilst at work, an increase of 38% on the previous 12 months.
Some of the incidents reported by participants range from verbal abuse dished out by disgruntled customers, to physical assaults and threatening behaviour involving the use of weapons. In one example, a frozen gammon was thrown at a store employee by an irate member of the public. Other cases include threats of physical violence being made against staff, with some even being followed home after work.
Shoplifting and refusal to sell age restricted goods are often flashpoints, although workers are also commonly targeted when they are most vulnerable for example when working alone, handling money, taking deliveries or locking up.
Combining this with recent news that crime in England and Wales is rising year on year, against a
Food banks have become a controversial topic ever since their usage increased rapidly after the recession. Some would argue that food banks are a giving service offering help to those in need. Contrasting views however, have caused a stir as some would question the high demand for food banks in the UK and argue that their purpose is being abused.
The Guardian recently revealed that there are at least 2,000 food banks operating in the UK, handing out emergency food parcels on a weekly basis to people in hardship. Furthermore, the number of people using food banks in the UK has risen by seven percent in the last year highlighting the increasing issue of food poverty.
Volunteers working for charities act as the driving force of their organisations. Without them, food banks simply wouldn’t function. According to the Belfast Telegraph “Food bank volunteers put in a staggering 4.1 million hours of unpaid work every year distributing food, fundraising and other duties”.
Like most charity workers, those working in food banks have to accommodate very vulnerable people, which
Will Murray, Director of Skyguard, was interviewed by Police Oracle magazine – the UK’s largest provider of police news – to discuss how MySOS personal alarms are being used to revolutionise the way police protect vulnerable individuals under their care.
The article discusses how the pocket-sized device has given a vital lifeline to over 6,000 individuals deemed at risk. Currently more than half of the countries’ police forces use MySOS, typically issuing units to victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and those on witness protection programs.
On activation of the device’s SOS button, users are able to speak to a trained Controller who can provide assistance and contact the emergency services utilising a unique reference number which allows Skyguard faster police response than the 999 system.
Murray commented: “It really gives the victims reassurance and freedom. Police used to install fixed alarms in properties but the victims never had an alarm which they could carry on them. It gives vulnerable people more mobility and they know that if anything happens
The number of crimes recorded in England and Wales has risen by 13% according to official figures from the Office of National Statistics – the largest annual increase in a decade.
A reported 5.2 million incidents took place in the 12 months leading up to June 2017 compared to 4.6 million the previous year. The volume of crime recorded over the past few years appears to be following a worrying upward trend, with an increase of 5% in June 2014-15, followed by a 7% rise from June 2015-16.
Violent crime is also climbing with around 1.2 million incidents recorded – 19% higher than the year before. This figure encompasses a range of offences such as violence with injury, knife crime, harassment and stalking.
Some key statistics:
Gun and knife crime has increased by 27% and 26% respectively
‘Violence against the person’ resulting in injury is up by 19%
Stalking and harassment rose by 36%
The number of murders has risen by 8%
Should we worry about the reported rise in crime?
There is some debate about the
Skyguard’s Parent Company, Send For Help Ltd has seen annual turnover break £8m for the first time – a rise of 30% on the previous year.
Send For Help, independently verified as the largest lone worker protection provider in the world show turnover this year hit £8m, up from £6.1m last year with profits of £2.4m — an increase of 121% on the previous year.
Organisations across all sectors and industries are turning to Skyguard as they seek ways to protect their employees using cutting edge mobile phone and satellite technology.
The business was founded in 2010 by brothers James and Will Murray. Their father, Jan Murray — the technology entrepreneur who founded PC World is the company’s President. Send For Help operates three subsidiary brands — Skyguard, Guardian24 and newly acquired Peoplesafe, which was added to the Group’s portfolio in May.
The Group protects more than 100,000 lone workers through the use of personal safety devices and mobile phone applications, all linked to a dedicated Alarm Receiving Centre manned 24 hours a day.
“We have seen demand