Cases of violence against retail workers is on the rise

As the UK begins to ease lockdown restrictions, many will be keen to get back to something that resembles “normal”. But, in the rush to get back to our best loved shops, gyms and hair salons, it seems many retail workers are coming forward to remind everyone to be kind.

These calls come amid reports from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) that levels of violence towards shop staff had dramatically increased during Covid-19.

The Co-op reported a rise in abuse and assaults involving staff since lockdown measures were put into place last March. Retail over all has seen an increase in violence against staff by 76%.

In 2020, there were 44,000 reported incidents of violence. Every day there were an average of 10 physical assaults, 5 per day related to being threatened with a weapon. Staff have been spat on and threatened with knives, and 8 in 10 staff reported either verbal abuse or violence.

We’ve also had frontline workers report to us that they are experiencing high levels of violence and aggression, but in some cases, they don’t report the incidents – so in reality these figures could be even higher.

Many shop workers now feel as though escalated levels of violence has now been normalised, leaving them fearing for their safety. The BRC, which represents a number of large national retail chains, is reminding people of the vital services these retailers are offering both to the community and the economy.

We know all too well how violence and aggression can make an impact. We’ve written several blogs recently about how our PMVA courses have seen more people come through the doors as, which represents a number of large national retail chains, is reminding people of the vital services these retailers are offering both to the community and the economy.” levels of violence continue to rise – particularly in the healthcare sector.

John Davis, Director of SBRT Ltd, said: “now is the time for us all to be pulling together and showing our thanks to key workers for the effort they have continued to put in throughout the pandemic. Staff should never be living in fear and we’ve heard first hand what they’ve had to deal with day to day.

“It’s always a good idea to ensure staff are trained to deal with confrontation and our Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression (PMVA) courses do just that. They empower staff to face a situation and deal with it accordingly, either diffusing or calming the situation before it escalates, or, use non-invasive defence techniques when needed. After completing the course, attendees have said they feel much safer in their day to day roles.”

Some sectors, such as healthcare, require staff to complete PMVA training as part of their development.

If you would like some more information, or to book your place, you can do so here.

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