Shopworkers facing more abuse and violence, union warns

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Shopworkers are facing increased levels of threats, abuse and violence, a "shocking" study reveals.

Research by Usdaw found that two thirds of shopworkers have been verbally abused over the past year, two out of five were threatened and there were 250 assaults every day.

Abuse and assaults have increased by 25% and threats by 38%, the union said.

Usdaw general secretary John Hannett questioned if the increase was a result of cuts in police funding, adding: "Violence, threats and abuse against workers is one of the great scourges of our society. The statistics are shocking and show that urgent action is required.

"Many UK workers are on the frontline of dealing with the public and that can mean they end up on the wrong side of a verbal or physical assault."

Usdaw called for stiffer penalties for people who assault shop staff, complaining that those responsible can  receive "derisory" sentences.

:: The union announced that deputy general secretary Paddy Lillis has been elected unopposed to succeed Mr Hannett as general secretary.