As assaults on shop workers have reportedly risen by more than half in under 2 years, retailers are calling for greater protection for their staff, with some in the sector suggesting assaults on retail employees should be made an aggravated offence.
The Commercial Victimisation Survey conducted by the Home Office showed that in 2017-18 there were a staggering 8.1 million incidents of assault and verbal abuse towards retail workers. This figure is up significantly from the previous year in which 5.2 million incidents were recorded.
Trade union, USDAW (Union of Shop, Distributed and Allied Workers) are campaigning for the creation of a specific offence for assaults on those working within the retail sector.
A USDAW insider said: “Everyone knows if you assault a police officer you get a stiffer sentence. We want something similar for shop workers.”
Ministers had previously dismissed the idea but are said to be reconsidering given the recent rises. Crime Minister, Victoria Atkins has ordered a probe to establish the reasons behind the increase and identify those areas and types of retailers most
In an emergency the first thing people usually think to do is dial 999. Since 1937, the service has provided 24/7 access to the emergency services for those in need of urgent assistance.
However, with upwards of 560,000 calls a week according to British Telecom, there is a huge demand on the service. At its busiest time, which is unsurprisingly around midnight on Friday and Saturday nights, handlers can expect 5,000 incoming calls an hour. Over the Christmas period this increases with around 9,000 calls received in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
Although the majority of calls are genuine, an estimated 35% don’t involve actual requests for help. These include accidental calls, deliberate hoaxes or children playing with phones. We’ve also all heard the tales of time-wasting calls, which the emergency services often publicise as a reminder to the public that 999 should not be abused.
When should you dial 999?
If there’s immediate danger to life
A crime is in progress
Someone suspected of a crime is nearby
A video posted on social media has exposed the appalling level of abuse faced by police. In the short clip, two officers in Merton, South London are assaulted during a routine traffic stop, with a male suspect seen ‘karate kicking’ a female officer to the ground – just yards away from the path of an oncoming bus.
The officer sustained head injuries, whilst her male colleague suffered cuts after being dragged across the floor by a suspect attempting to flee. Several cars can be seen driving past without stopping to help until eventually a member of the public steps in to assist.
In the video the man filming can be heard laughing and making fun of the officers instead of coming to their aid. After the video was uploaded to Twitter, the incident hit the headlines last week as it demonstrates the current lack of respect towards police forces.
It prompted the Chairman of the Met Police Federation, Ken Marsh, to suggest that the severity of attacks faced by officers, coupled with the lack of support from the public could mean
A volunteer had a lucky escape when he became lost on the North York Moors whilst working alone.
The man was undertaking a wildlife survey when he took a shortcut and struggled to find his way back. To make matters worse, his phone battery quickly went flat leaving him with no means to navigate.
Fortunately the man had been able to alert the police that he was lost before his phone died. They contacted the National Park Authority although they were unable to pinpoint his location.
Covering 554 square miles, the North York Moors National Park is one of the most remote parts of Yorkshire and the North East.
The volunteer had followed lone working ‘buddy’ procedures correctly and given his whereabouts to a family member at home. However, in a stroke of bad luck they’d gone out and left their mobile phone indoors and could not be contacted.
Eventually the worker was able to find his car and let others know he was safe, but things could easily have turned out differently. This highlights the dangers of working
When entering another person’s home in a professional capacity, your personal safety must always be your top priority.
Nurses, social workers, housing officers, delivery drivers, carers and maintenance staff are just a few of the roles where home visits are commonplace. However, despite being part and parcel of many people’s everyday jobs, this can potentially expose employees to risk.
Why do home visits carry higher risk?
Quite simply when you are in somebody else’s home this puts them in a position of control. This perception can alter the way you behave and put you on the back foot to start with. In certain circumstances you may be more likely to agree with somebody else or behave in a submissive way. In an unfamiliar environment you might not be aware of the dangers or even how to get away in a hurry if you need to.
The nature of some roles may also have a higher probable risk associated, for example a nurse that visits mental health patients in the community or a housing officer that deals with