Daniel Zeichner MP has expressed disappointment at the Government response to a Parliamentary petition calling more protections for shop workers. He says Government sympathy will do nothing to protected frightened Cambridge cashiers.
The petition, which is backed by the Co-op Food, the Association of Convenience Stores and the trade union Usdaw, seeks to protect retail staff from violence, threats and abuse.
It became the fastest growing petition on the parliamentary website when it passed 10,000 signatures in one day.
Mr Zeichner who recently met a group of Cambridge shop-workers from a number of food stores across the city, says the workers he speaks to tell him shocking accounts.
He said: “The shop workers I spoke to had all been threatened, verbally abused, and in too many cases, physically assaulted. One woman told me that, in her view, it is only a matter of time before she is stabbed, either in the shop, or on her way home.”
Recent figures show incidents of abuse doubling during the Covid-19 crisis with around 3,500 assaults per day.
Mr Zeichner continued: “Shop workers have rightly been praised as key workers, but sadly abuse seems to be a part of the job for them – and that is plain wrong. Sympathy from the Government is not enough, shop workers need protections. They are at the frontline, tackling shop lifters, dealing with customers who are upset about covid-secure measures, and policing the sale of alcohol, knives, glue, fireworks and other dangerous items. It is time for action, not words.”