80% of shopworkers believe that violence is getting worse

80% of shopworkers believe that violence is getting worse

28/10/2019

USDAW has conducted a consultation with 3,272 retail workers to determine the scope of violence and aggression in retail in 2019.

They found that 80% of staff believe the problem is getting worse, and a staggering 62% of employees have been the victim of verbal or physical abuse.

The British Retail Consortium’s 2019 Retail Crime Survey agrees with the results, reporting that there are 115 retail workers attacked in their place of work every single day, making up part of 42,000 violent incidents per year.

“Violence and abuse remain our members’ key crime concern and shows a continued increase… Emotional harm can be as serious a problem as physical injury, even if it may not be immediately apparent” notes the report.

As a result, USDAW have called upon the UK Government to act in a bid to deter aggressive behaviour with tougher sentencing and policing.

Many retail stores are also considering how technology can play a part in protecting staff and reducing violence and aggression. Body cameras are being considered and trialled in several large retailers, with the aim of curbing violence as they have done in policing and healthcare.

Whereas the body cameras that police and security are using are effective, they are designed and built for heavy duty uniforms. What sets Calla apart is that it is a solution designed from the ground up specifically for light uniformed staff workers - taking all the elements that have made the technology a worldwide success, and combining them in a small, light and friendly package that can be worn on any retail uniform.

Phill Brown Head of Risk & Safety for the Society of London Theatre has seen the cameras make a positive difference in West End Theatres. He said “We have seen in some of the reports from the pilots that people have backed down, calmed down and walked away from situations.

“I think just the fact that people can see themselves behaving in an unpleasant way can sometimes be enough to calm people down and de-escalate themselves to actually walk away from the situation before it turns into something more significant.”

Learn more about how Calla can make a difference

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