Shocking survey shows 'millions' of shoppers have witnessed violence against shopworkers

Date published: 25 November 2021

A shocking new survey has suggested that millions of shoppers have seen violence & abuse towards shopworkers

The findings come as the #ShopKind campaign urges kindness to shopworkers and consumers in stores  across the North West this Christmas.
With Black Friday and Christmas just around the corner, Crimestoppers and retailers are urging shoppers across the North West to #ShopKind when they visit local high streets, as new national polling reveals that over one third of shoppers (38%) have witnessed violence and abuse against shopworkers.

With at least two-thirds of consumers flocking back to the high street, retailers, the Home Office and charity Crimestoppers are reminding customers to be kind to shopworkers and fellow customers. The latest retail industry data suggests that 450 shopworkers are abused each day and it’s feared this may rise during the busy festive season.

The #ShopKind campaign urges the public to be mindful of shopworkers’ essential role serving the public, and emphasises that workers should be treated with respect, kindness and gratitude. Over 86% of shoppers recognise that shopworkers face a much higher workload during the Christmas period, but there remains a minority of people that are aggressive and, in the worst cases, physically violent towards people working in shops.

#ShopKind is supported by major high street retailers as well as the nation’s independent shopkeepers and the shopworkers’ union Usdaw. The ShopKind campaign is now visible across high streets and on social media.

Gary Murray, Regional Manager for the North West at the charity Crimestoppers, said: “Our high streets play a pivotal role in our communities across the North West and whilst Christmas can have its own stresses, there is absolutely no excuse for violent or abusive behaviour towards workers.

“Please help us stamp out abuse and if you know who is responsible but want to stay anonymous, tell our charity what you know. Call freephone 0800 555 111 or visit Together, we can help protect our local shops and shopworkers from harm at this busy but special time of year.”

Paddy Lillis, General Secretary of Usdaw union said: “We very much welcome the #ShopKind initiative that seeks to promote respect, kindness and gratitude. The Christmas campaign is particularly important in the run-up to the festive period, when shops are busier, customers can be stressed and things can boil over. We are saying loud and clear that abuse is not a part of the job. So, we join in asking customers to keep their cool and respect shopworkers.”

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