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Shop Staff Launch 'Be Kind' Campaign Amid Surge In Abuse And Violence

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Shop Staff Launch 'Be Kind' Campaign Amid Surge In Abuse And Violence

A number of retailers across the UK are joining the government-backed #ShopKind campaign, after reports of abuse and violence against shop workers grew in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Asda, Superdrug and Pets at Home are just a few big brands that are working with both CrimeStoppers and the Home Office after it emerged that around 400 shop staff were abused on a daily basis in the UK.

Non-essential stores are starting to open (Credit: PA Images)
Non-essential stores are starting to open (Credit: PA Images)

The #ShopKind campaign urges the public to be considerate of shopworkers' essential role in supporting people during these difficult times, and emphasises that we should all treat workers and also other customers with respect, kindness and gratitude.

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The campaign was introduced earlier this year in preparation of more stores opening as lockdown restrictions start to ease.

While essential retail, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, have remained throughout lockdown, non-essential shops only began to open on April 12th.

Non-essential stores opened in April (Credit: Unsplash)
Non-essential stores opened in April (Credit: Unsplash)

Retailers supporting #ShopKind campaign will now be supporting the movement in store and on social media.

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#ShopKind comes after The Association of Convenience Stores' 2021 Crime Report, released earlier this year, revealed the staggering amount of abuse hurled at people who work in retail.

The pandemic is thought to hugely intensified abuse. Over the past 12 months there have been over 1.2 million reported incidents of verbal abuse, and around 40,000 incidents of violence against people working in convenience stores.

Of these, more than a quarter involved a weapon, such as a knife, hammer, axe, or syringe.

A number of stores are backing the #ShopKind initiative (Credit: PA Images)
A number of stores are backing the #ShopKind initiative (Credit: PA Images)
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Two-thirds of retailers (65 per cent) had experienced Covid-related threats, with the most common causes of abuse being: reminding customers to wear face coverings, reminding customers of social distancing measures and queueing outside stores.

Speaking about the #ShopKind campaign, Home Secretary Priti Patel explained: "Throughout the pandemic, shop staff have been the lifeline for many in our communities, and I am grateful for their vital service.

"Violence and abuse towards shop workers is utterly despicable and unacceptable, everyone has the right to feel safe at work.

"As the daughter of shopkeepers, I fully support ShopKind, a reminder to customers to consider their behaviour towards shop staff, and I would encourage all retailers to fully support it."

The full list of shops taking part can be found here.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: UK News, Life News, Shopping, lockdown, Coronavirus, Covid-19

Kimberley Bond
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