The Home Affairs Committee says a specific offence relating to the assault of retail workers could be beneficial. Their recommendations have been issued in a report, following an inquiry into violence and abuse towards retail workers.

Assault solicitors – England and Wales

If you have been accused of assault, please contact us now at Ashmans Solicitors. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We offer free police station representation.

Inquiry into abuse towards retail workers

At the start of 2021, the Home Affairs Committee launched an inquiry into violence and abuse towards retail workers. This was prompted by a crime survey report, which found that during the previous year, 155,000 incidents of abuse or violence had occurred towards retail workers. This is an increase of 9% from the previous year, amounting to 424 incident every day.

The Committee’s report has now been published. The main conclusion is that there is a strong argument for a new offence, dealing specifically with the assault of retail workers. The report said that a new offence would play an instrumental role in resetting expectations among the public, retail workers and police.

This represents something of a U-turn for the government, with the Home Office previously stating that the existing laws were sufficient. Indeed, prosecutions can already be brought under a range of offences, such as assault. However, the responses to the inquiry cited the rising number of incidents as evidence that the current legislation is, in fact, inadequate.

The law in Scotland

It is not yet known whether a new offence will be introduced in England and Wales. If it is, it could be based on the offence enforced in Scotland earlier this year. This makes it illegal to assault, threaten, abuse, obstruct or hinder a retail worker, and allows for aggravation of the offence where the worker is enforcing a statutory age restriction.

When the law was implemented in Scotland, the policy said that the potential benefits of the new offence might include:

  • Increased awareness of the issues posed by the physical and verbal abuse faced by retail workers
  • A possible increase in the reporting of such crimes
  • A reduction in the number of occasions on which retail workers would have to face this type of offending

 solicitors for Assault – England and Wales

As experts in criminal law, we will be sure to keep you updated on any legislative changes. If new offences are introduced which relate to your case, we will advise you accordingly.

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